I’ve been thinking a lot about this goal lately.
I have no concerns that I give more than I take in my work; as a consultant, you get immediate feedback if you don’t.
In terms of family, it’s a mixed bag; I sure give a lot in terms of time, income, lost goals and desires that have been shelved or forgotten in the turmoil of raising three kids. But I also get a lot from my family members; great company, great food, a beautiful house, and a rewarding life. Still, I’m pretty sure I’m balanced or even favorable here as well.
Community is difficult. I get a lot from this community; I have friends I enjoy, a small town I love to live in, and great schools for my kids. And I don’t give back much; a huge tax bill is about all I have to show for the positive side of the ledger.
The community of humankind is hard to judge, but again I’ve at least got a fair amount going on. I’m trying to save the world, or at least the parts of it I can get my fingers around right now. Could I do more? You betcha.
All things considered though, it’s my community that I think I’m most in need of working on. Perhaps I should sponsor a baseball team or work in the local soup kitchen.
I just noticed I’ve never made an entry in this task. That’s really funny, since I’ve worked on this ever since I first wrote the task in my paper journal as one of my “meta-goals”.
The beauty of this task in my mind is that what we give and what we take varies by the level of society; I give productivity and take pay at work; I give and get emotional support in my family. But what about community? What about humanity?
This is where my task began, about 80 pages ago in my paper journal. Since then, I have been pursuing how to define community in the 21st century (my neighborhood? town? what about cyberspace? my book club? church?) as well as the currency for giving and taking at the “humankind” level.
This second item has spawned a new task “develop and post the concepts of the rights and the works of humanity”. I have this sense of all humankind should be assured of some specific things, and we should all be motivated as fellow members of the species to extend these basic “rights” to all other members. One of the most important of these is the right to participate in the “works of humanity”; the things we are doing as a species. This, then, is the key topic that needs to be defined for me to continue on this task. And it really is nothing short of this; what is the meaning of life? Not my life, but any life?
I’m getting close to an answer…