When you think about the values that drive news coverage, the most obvious might be ones like fairness or security or compassion. So much of news is the story of society wrestling with different notions of how to best express those qualities – and the disagreements that result.
This issue of The Christian Science Monitor Daily offers insight on a value that is just as crucial but often less talked about: responsibility.
What is vigilantism but a conviction that the state has failed or is not fully capable of carrying out its responsibilities, so citizens have to step in? What are carbon taxes but the conviction that government agencies need to compel more responsibility from citizens to address climate change? What is the new film “King Richard,” but an examination of the fraught lines of parental responsibility – the lines between the tough love needed to build character and success, and an unhealthy and maniacal obsession?
All such qualities are double-edged. Responsibility can be an appropriate desire to have all contribute or a weapon to blame and persecute others. Different societies will come to different conclusions about how best to express responsibility – collectively and individually, voluntarily or through compulsion, and where it turns from tough love and trust to prejudice and projection of power.
But finding that balance starts with thoughtful, nuanced conversations that reject simplistic answers. Today’s issue is our contribution to that goal.