*This post was inspired by AONCThe Small Man Builds Cages.Some people would assume you have to be a paleontologist to find a selfless bone in our world today. While i don't necessarily agree, maybe generosity and empowerment could be filed under the "needle in a haystack" category.Though most of us are "good-at-heart," our habits of generosity and empowerment are something that we can all work on. It's important to be willing to offer ourselves to other people - our time, our knowledge, our networks, and even our resources if necessary. It seems to me that in a day and age when everyone is trying all they can to get ahead of each other, maybe the best way to have a legitimate impact is to empower one another.
To help illustrate, here is a beautiful piece from a 14th century Sufi poet named Hafiz:
The small man Builds cages for everyone He Knows. While the sage, Who has to duck his head When the moon is low, Keeps dropping keys all night long For the Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners.
I am one of the more clumsy people i know, so dropping keys comes natural to me. In fact, i do it often. But it's mostly my own keys....and now i've officially missed the point.I think most people in the world are good - or at least good-hearted. But as a whole, the big bad world tells us to build cages and lock people in. That if we protect our own interests and suppress the ideas and interests of others, the highway to success will be free of traffic and inconvenience. But generosity and empowerment is dropping keys so those who have been locked in by others can go free. I have no doubt built cages in the past. But going forward, my goal is to build fewer cages and drop more keys. One of the main purposes for beginning this blog journey is to share the things i am learning in a way that empowers - to drop keys. So i hope that is coming through in my writing. But what else can you and i do on a Tuesday morning to be key-droppers? Maybe:
- Before we speak up in conversation or meeting, or publish a status/post, stop and think "is this empowering for anyone?"
- Take inventory of our resources, and ask ourself "what can i offer someone today?"
- Stop keeping score. And if we have to keep score, give more than we take.
- Take the thing(s) we are the best at, and show people how to do it, without holding back the secret ingredient.
Side note: I saw this awesome video recently, and it kinda goes with the theme.