This passage (and the whole book, really) from Jedediah Purdy's For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today really resonates with our conversation of engagement in LAR 112.
We are at liberty to be entirely self-concerned. Our freedom, though, does not prohibit seriousness of purpose; it may be that it can come to maturity only by undertaking such seriousness. With a free, reflective choice to accept responsibility for some place, to take a role in a political and geographic community, and to answer to some tradition, we take full responsibility for our lives. We relinquish boundlessness to acquire form. (107)