“The Talmud teaches that every person must say to himself “The world was created for me,” not as a statement of ultimate self-centeredness, rather out of a sense of unique responsibility for the world. This is my world and I’m its caretaker. If there’s a problem, I’ve got to do something about it.” –Rabbi Ken Spiro
Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World
Responsibility for Those We Impact
This responsibility for the world and those around us is also what urges people in UX to think about ethics. Many people are thinking about our responsibility. Some are writing about (or taking action on) how we can improve the world around us. Take for example:
- Sara Holoubek’s article on Ai, ethics, and disruption in digital health
- Tristan Harris and The Center for Humane Technology
- Francine Berman’s article on social and ethical behavior in the Internet of Things
- Mike Monteiro’s talk, How Designer’s Destroyed the World
The Urge to Escape, the Responsibility to Act
HAPPY FRIDAY. THE WORLD IS CRAP SO DO SOMETHING NICE FOR YOURSELF. BUY A BOOK. HAVE A BIG-ASS LATTE. WALK AWAY FROM SOMEONE SAYING STUPID SHIT. PET A PUPPY. SMELL A BABY. SIP A WHISKY. PUT A HEX ON YOUR JERK BOSS SO HE PUKES UP SERPENTS. TODAY IS A YOU-DAY, A DAY TO ENJOY YOU!
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) September 7, 2018
When this tweet appeared in my feed, I smiled. And then I thought to myself “but it’s not enough.” This is a privileged view: the world is crap, so ignore it for the day.
This is my world, and I’m it’s caretaker. I need to take care of myself as well, yes. But I also don’t get days off from my responsibility. Do something nice for yourself. And then do something nice for someone else.