The Gift of Service
Happy New Year!
I do not know a single person sad to see 2016 in the rearview mirror.
The question is: what are WE going to do to make 2017 better? I believe the answer to this can be found in “doing service.”
What does that mean? Service is doing something for “the other,” not for oneself.
The Joys of Service
Some of us learned the joys of service as children at home, or at church, or in school. I remember as a 9-year old, holding a fundraising carnival to benefit muscular dystrophy (I was an avid fan of Jerry Lewis’s annual telethon, and decided to participate hoping to make a difference). It changed me, as I reached a new level of JOY. Later in life — much later — I left a 6-figure job in corporate America to become a Peace Corps Volunteer for 2 years. Now THAT really changed me. It gave me a new lens through which I see everything differently. I hope that my service had impact on the lives of others. I know for certain it has shaped me, and brought me here to you.
Service comes in all different sizes and shapes. There are opportunities for each of us to perform service on micro and macro levels. My clients are successful women entrepreneurs, and many have built in ways they and their business give back to the community. There is a reason for that going far beyond public relations. They see their impacts, and it brings them joy.
One of the most promising and hopeful things I see on our horizon is the growth of social entrepreneurship, and how many women entrepreneurs particularly establish non-profits along with their for-profit endeavors. There is a crying need for women with business experience to lead and model in service to others.
The recent national election may unleash another critical force, that of women seeking public office, aka public SERVICE. We need our voices represented at all levels of public service, whether it is on school boards or nonprofit boards, or elective office.
One of my major goals for 2017 and beyond is helping identify and mentor women to participate in our public policy sphere. I guarantee there are more people like me out there. Your goal is to find us!
Seeing individuals ascend to the highest posts in the land without ever before having performed any service for anyone save their own benefit is, frankly, terrifying. Do they even know how to perform service, or think of anyone beyond their own circle? Let’s make sure we never let this happen again. WE are the answer we seek.
What will you do?