Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Personal Strength of Service - Three Heroes

"Wouldn't it be a beautiful world if just 10 percent of the people who believe in the power of love would compete with one another to see who could do the most good for the most people?" - Muhammad Ali - American professional boxer (1942- )

Once a controversial heavy-weight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali nicknamed himself “The Greatest.” And maybe he was. Since he retired from boxing, he has devoted himself to humanitarian projects around the world, lending his name and celebrity presence to efforts to fight hunger and poverty. Some people say he’s busy traveling to promote these and other causes more than 50% of the year - this in spite of the disabling effects of Parkinson's Disease. For his efforts, he has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville focuses on peace, social responsibility, respect and personal growth.

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. - American civil rights leader (1929-1968)

In 1964, Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end racial discrimination. He was the youngest person to receive that honor. He dedicated his life to promoting civil rights in the United States. He had expanded his focus to include ending poverty and the Vietnam was when he was assassinated in 1968. A martyr and symbol for human rights, his life and work are commemorated annually on Martin Luther King Day, a U.S. national holiday.

“There is joy in transcending self to serve others.”

"What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” - Mother Teresa (Indian humanitarian (1910-1997)

The woman we remember as Mother Teresa was an Albanian Catholic nun who became a citizen of India. In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta and ministered to poor, sick, orphaned, starving and dying people. Over the years, her work expanded to 610 missions in 123 countries at the time of her death in 1997. She was beatified by the Catholic Church and is considered a likely candidate for sainthood.

Under pressure to meet the challenges of your work and personal life, it may seem like a stretch to think about whether you’re adequately serving others. It's easy to become focused on what you need from others, not what others need from you.

And yet, when you focus on what you can do for the people around you, when you think about how to help them do what they need to do, that’s when good things happen. Even as a manager, the key to becoming the best leader you can be is to understand that you need to be a "servant leader."

A Fortune Cookie for you...

Render service to others, for this is how you serve yourself.

The story behind the Fortune Cookies...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .

1 comment:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I like the quotes you have chosen for this post. I also very much like that you have included Ali. He is quite a man.

Much love,