Notes from Windward: #61
Choosing service over self-interest
Ultimately the choice we make is between service and
self-interest. Both are attractive. The fire and intensity of
self-interest seems to burn all around us. We search, so
often in vain, to find leaders we can have faith in. Our doubts are
not about our leaders’ talents, but about their
trustworthiness. We are unsure whether they are serving their institutions or
themselves… We ourselves are no different. We are so
career-minded, even though there are so few places to go. Or we
have surrendered to life-style… We were born into the
age of anxiety and have become adults in the age of self-interest.
The antidote to self-interest is to commit and to find
cause. To commit to something outside of ourselves. To be part of
creating something we care about so we can endure the
sacrifice, risk and adventure that commitment entails. This is the
deeper meaning of service.
Let the commitment and the cause be the place where we
work… Our task is to create organizations we believe in and to
do it as an offering, not a demand. No one will do it
for us. Others have brought us this far. The next step is ours.
Peter Block (1993) Stewardship. Choosing service over
self-interest, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, pages 9-10.