"Do we really need this thing? Yes, on about the same order as we need oxygen."
That is a quote from an essay by Warren Bennis in a new book released by the Utah County-based Statue of Responsibility Foundation, which is working to build a $300 million, 300-foot stainless steel monument on the West Coast meant to bookend the Statue of Liberty. Hoping to draw attention to its cause, the anthology of essays on the topic of responsibility, titled "Responsibility 911: With Great Liberty Comes Great Responsibility," has some big names inside its covers.
Oprah Winfrey, Desmond Tutu, Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II, Dallin H. Oaks, George W. Bush, Norman Schwarzkopf, Rudolph Giuliani and Ross Perot are among the essayists featured in the book.
In what may be a matter of serendipity, there are even essays by both John McCain and Barack Obama, though the book was put together long before anyone knew the two would be facing each other in the battle to be president.
The foundation has printed 6,000 copies of the book, which it is selling for $25 in order to raise money and awareness for the Statue of Responsibility. The group has more than 150 volunteers from around the world working on the project. More than half a million dollars has been raised and the group is hoping to raise more than $5 million more in the next year and a half.
About half of the essays were selected because they focus on responsibility in general, while the other half were written specifically for the book.
Working in a donated office on Spanish Fork's Main Street on Thursday, Daniel Bolz, who is director of the foundation and editor of the book, said the book was the idea of a foundation board member.
"It is an anthology, not a novel, with the core message and the underlying theme of the 56 articles being that of responsibility," Bolz said.
The goal of the monument, and now the book, is to point out that "society cannot endure when only focused on rights," Bolz said. "The rights of liberty need to be lived in terms of responsibility. There are two pillars -- liberty and responsibility -- and the whole purpose of building the monument is to remind society of those two."
While it may become challenging to raise money in the midst of the current global fiscal crisis, the crisis may also point out the need, more than ever, to focus on responsibility, Bolz said.
"What better time to build the monument," Bolz said.
The project was first proposed by author and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl in his best-selling book, "Man's Search for Meaning." In 1997, world-renowned sculptor Gary Lee Price, who lives and works in Springville, was commissioned to design a monument that captured Frankl's vision. He chose two hands each gripping the forearm of the other as that symbol. Price has completed a 13-foot clay prototype of the statue, and the group is considering locations for the statue in San Diego Harbor, San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles and Puget Sound in Seattle. The group hopes to raise more than $5 million in the next 18 months in order to begin making formal presentations to those cities.
The monument is designed to have an open-air observation deck at its top, with an inside observation deck below that and two floors of restaurants and a gift shop below that. Each will be about 1,500 square feet.
To purchase the book, or for information about the Statue of Responsibility, visit www.sorfoundation.org.
Excerpts from "Responsibility 911: With Great Liberty Comes Great Responsibility":
"Responsibility is the forgotten side of freedom. The Statue of Responsibility has for many years been a vision of mine. It symbolizes how we remember, in time, the obligations of freedom, rather than symbolizing, too late, the lessons from our ancestors that we forgot."
˜ Denis Waitley
"Nearly all young people understand the notion of responsibility, and few seek to shirk it completely. But many of them have not internalized the need to act responsibly, and yet these young persons will determine how responsibility plays out in the workplace. The great psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who escaped the death camps of World War II and became a leading thinker, believed that responsibility must go with liberty. He had a vision that one day a large statue would greet visitors, including immigrants, to the western shores of America. That statue would remind us of the responsibilities that we all assume by virtue of being human."
˜ Howard Gardner
"Do we really need this thing (Statue of Responsibility)? Yes, on about the same order as we need oxygen. Why? In today‚s complex world, people at every age and stage, in every position and organization, and especially managers and leaders need to be reminded daily of their basic responsibilities to stakeholders˜meaning anyone who has a stake in their success or failure as a person or business."
˜ Warren Bennis
"Freedom is not free; it requires a keen sense of citizen responsibility if it is to be achieved and if it is to flourish and survive. I support the creation of a Statue of Responsibility because I see it as the natural and essential ally of our Statue of Liberty."
˜ George S. McGovern
"Liberty and the rule of law must be accompanied by each of us taking full responsibility for making our life and the lives of communities work. Just as the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island reminds all who enter New York Harbor of the great sacrifices that have been made to ensure the personal freedoms we all cherish, the Statue of Responsibility will remind all who see the Statue in the west of the personal responsibility that is required to preserve those freedoms."
˜ Jack Canfield
"The Statue of Responsibility is an irresistibly compelling project that deserves to take its place on the West Coast, and by doing so, will harmoniously balance the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast. One of the most inspirational books of all time, Man‚s Search for Meaning, was written by a WWII prisoner of war and holocaust survivor, psychologist, Dr. Viktor E. Frankl. Frankl, some forty years ago, wisely proposed his visionary and enlightened idea that the world needs a Statue of Responsibility. Now, we are manifesting that idea in reality."
˜ Mark Victor Hansen