Every morning a woman rises early to do something for her community. It’s so simple, yet so important. She stands on a street corner, rain or shine, to greet school children. She’s a crossing guard. She takes her job very seriously. She arrives before the sun is up. It is often cold. Sometimes it snows or rains. As the kids arrive, she takes the smaller ones by the hand and helps them across the street. She literally guards them with her life as she helps them along the way. A simple act. But so vitally important. Responsible. Before she lets go of their hands she says, “I’ll be here after school. I want to hear what you learned. Have a great day. ” She does this every day. With every kid. No exceptions. No excuses. A kind and simple act. Unnoticed and unimportant by the world at large. However, to the individual child, it means the world. So responsible.”
This is just one story of Responsibility… there are many others happening around us everyday. The time has come to shine the light on this value, Responsibility, and move it from an abstract concept to concrete reality within our society.
Here’s the movement: The Responsibility Foundation has made responsibility its sole purpose. It exists to Educate, Engage, and Elevate the ideal of Responsibility as conveyed by world renowned author/psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, Dr. Viktor E. Frankl. We have a responsibility, a stewardship, to ourselves, our neighbors, our communities, our country, and to the world.
One of the greatest movements of the nineteenth century resulted in the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, being placed in the New York Harbor. The pedestal it sits on was paid for in part by the school children of America. They collected pennies, dimes, and even chickens to present the most well known legacy of Liberty in the world. She was dedicated in 1886 by President Grover Cleveland and millions of Americans have been inspired by her as a symbol of the standard of Liberty ever since. World renowned author Dr. Viktor E. Frankl suggested a statue be built to bookend the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast. Together these monuments will elevate all who see them as beacons of hope for a better tomorrow and complete the formula.
Our Foundation exists to shine a light on the responsible acts that happen every day…and by doing so…inspire more to take place. What will be your legacy of responsibility?
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
The original idea of a “Statue of Responsibility” was the vision of Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, a holocaust survivor who went on to publish the best-seller “Man’s Search for Meaning,” which today is considered to be among the top 10 most influential books in the U.S. In this work published in 1946.
“Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”
-Dr. Viktor E. Frankl
The realization of this vision started when Dr. Viktor E. Frankl met Dr. Stephen R. Covey, educator, businessman, and bestselling author of the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” They decided it was time to move past conversation. ACTION is what created the Responsibility Foundation of today. Dr. Covey contacted world-renowned sculptor Gary Lee Price and asked him to sculpt the concept of the Statue of Responsibility. Gary, an award-winning sculptor and Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, envisioned a statue depicting a hand reaching up for help with another hand reaching down in a clasping position. The hands are symbolic of Responsibility. In different times of our lives we are the hand reaching up for help or the hand reaching down to lift others. We are all connected.
Dr. Covey loved the concept but wished to know whether it met the approval of the Frankl’s. Unfortunately, Dr. Viktor E. Frankl had already passed away at this time (1997) but his widow, Dr. Eleonore (Elly) Frankl was living in Vienna, Austria. In 2004, a select group of representatives of the statue, including Gary Lee Price, flew to Vienna, Austria to meet with Dr. Frankl’s widow and seek approval. When Gary unveiled the sculpture that depicts the two hands clasped together, Dr. Elly could not contain her emotions. It was everything Dr. Viktor E. Frankl would have hoped, and more.
In time, the Responsibility Foundation was formed and evolved into what it is today. The scope of the project has also expanded from simply building a statue to launching an entire Responsibility movement. This project moves forward with urgent speed so the message of Responsibility can be amplified throughout the world. We invite all the world to join with us.