Commitment to the Growth of People
Updated: Aug 1, 2018
“Healing, health, and holy all share the same root word hal, which means to “make whole” (Scharmer, Kaufer, p. 162).
“The first dimension of a complete life is the development of a person’s inner powers. He must work tirelessly to achieve excellence in his field of endeavor, no matter how humble. Set yourself earnestly to discover what you are made to do and then give yourself passionately to the doing of it. This clear onward drive toward self-fulfillment is the length of a man’s life”. (King, p. 6).
“The second dimension of a complete life is concern for and identification with one’s fellowman. The recognition of the oneness of humanity and the need of active brotherly concern for the welfare of others is the breadth of a man’s life” (King, p. 6). “Love your neighbor as yourself” (King, p. 7).
“There remains the third dimension, the height, man’s upward reach” (King, p. 6).
If I was given only four words to articulate commitment to the growth of people – integration, mind, body, soul.
Brene Brown, in her TED talk on the power of vulnerability, shares how when one believes they are worthy of love and belonging, connection with others occur (Brown, 2010). Self-love is a foundational building block for a life of serving others. Through one’s own journey to growing healthier, more wise, free of shame and fear, and more authentic, others will “become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous” (Greenleaf, p. 1). One cannot serve other’s selflessly until one knows “with some certainty the solid ground one stands on at any one time” (Greenleaf, p.100). “Life is truly about learning to love. Once you learn how to love…we are then called to step into service and do something with that love” (Ferch, Spears, McFarland, Carey, p. 183).
James Autry, in Conversations on Servant Leadership, shared that as a servant-leader in training, one “sincerely [has] to start with what you yourself are wanting to become, the being and becoming of you” (Ferch, Spears, McFarland, Carey, p, 36). Because I have experienced self-worthlessness, I empathize with others who are searching for self-worth. Because I once sought hope and faith in the painful ebbs of life, I hold compassion for those who seek purpose in what they currently cannot explain. Because, I too, was once tightly in that cocoon, I know the power of courage to take that first step to begin to unfold one’s wings. And I know that the transformational journey of seeking self-worth is a road that can be walked, and that along that journey, one will find hope, faith, purpose, and most of all love. “As human beings we all have a need to be loved and we all have a need to love” (Ferch, Spears, McFarland, Carey, p. 180) “Because I have lived with [self] hatred, I know love, hope, and [self] forgiveness” (Ferch, p. 175).
And because I am a life-long learner of growing into integrative wholeness mind, body, and spirit, I am committed to the growth of people. Beside me, in front of me, behind me, within. A mantra I have whispered on many a run when I feel connected to the wholeness of the “organic community of human and non-human being” that surrounds me (Palmer, pp. 53-54). It is also how I view the opportunities to lead – beside you with both of us as teacher and student learning and growing, in front pulling when you do not have the strength to reach, behind you pushing when you need that nudge to keep climbing, and encouraging you to see within yourself your own extraordinariness.
Brown, B. (2010). The Power of Vulnerability, TEDx Houston, 2010 (June 2010). Retrieved
Ferch, S. (2012). Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity: Servant Leadership as a Way of Life. Lanham, Maryland. Lexington Books.
Ferch, S.R., Spears, L., McFarland, M., Carey, M., (2015). Conversations on Servant-
Leadership. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Greenleaf, R. (1998). The Power of Servant-Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler
King, C.S. (1994). My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. New York, NY: Puffin Books
Palmer, P (1993). To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey. New York:
Scharmer, O., Kaufer, K., (2013). Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.