From the Editor June 2014
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Rabindrannath Tagore, poet from Calcutta, India 1861 – 1941
What a beautiful thought! It was the leading quote in a chapter on giving in a book that I read this last month. The book is: “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success” by Arianna Huffington. I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by that. It was the message of the book that surprised me and that it comes from a very successful business executive in the online media industry.
The author’s life lesson is that success is about more than accumulating power and wealth. A third metric, involving aspects in which life can not only survive, but will thrive is required. And that metric is built on four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. She has a chapter explaining the meaning of each of these pillars with quotes going back to Greek philosophers to back them up. You can give your own interpretations, but check out the book. It is very well written and easy to read, with lots of opportunity to think.
I’ve read several books this past year with similar themes, for example: “The Go-Giver” (and its sequel – “Go-Givers Sell More”), “Give and Take” (the best engineers are givers). And today I noticed a post on LinkedIn by Nigel Miller, an HR executive with experiences at Edelman, Coca Cola and ABInBev. His post is entitled “9 Things Millennials Can Teach the Rest of Us About Engagement.” Along with things like “frequent, instant recognition” and “meritocracy”, the list included “more fun”, “more collaboration” and “more purpose.” They want to work in teams for a company that makes a difference. How about that? Sounds like a group of people we would enjoy helping along their way.
Paula and I had a front row seat in how this works this past weekend. Our granddaughter, Autumn, graduated from Urbana High School. Her list of accomplishments includes great grades, soccer team leader, runner-up for Prom Queen, and taking the lead on arranging a student group trip to Mississippi for a Habitat for Humanity project. For the party, a friend did whatever was asked, her boy friend did dry walling, her brother and his girl friend did finishing and painting — to get a bathroom in top shape for the crowd. Mom arranged for the food and dad completed the patio and fixed whatever got broken. Paula and I helped a bit, but mostly provided some to that instant recognition, letting them know just how proud we were of each of them. Watching Autumn visiting with young and old during the party, to make sure everyone was having a good time, gave me a few points on that ‘wonder’ metric — lots of good feelings for grandpa!
This rambled on a bit, but let me try to tie together what I wanted to say. I think that message from the millennials about collaboration and purpose hits home for all of us. Whatever age, we have in common a quest for well-being, gaining wisdom, enjoying the wonder of life’s experiences, and the satisfaction of giving — serving others. That millennials appear to recognize the value of a greater purpose, promises a better future for all. And, we might be in a position to help them along their way.
By the way, I did really enjoy the rest of Pele’s book. It got better and better. He also made the point on the power of ‘team’ and value of serving others.
Jude Anders — Editor