Do good for othersSocial Sciences
“At some point each of us has to discover that our self-interest is better served by doing good work than getting good things. The more our job and our survival is on the line, the easier it is to make this discovery. In this way hard times are an ally.”
Peter Block: Stewardship
Millard Fuller had it all: the business he’d started had made him rich and he was flying high, flying fast, and flying first class. Until the day he came home to a letter from his wife saying that she was leaving him because he was no longer the man she had married. His world suddenly turned upside down. After much soul-searching by both partners, Millard and Linda decided to give all of their possessions (all of them!) to charity and move their family to Africa for three years of service commitment. Upon their return to Georgia, they founded Habitat for Humanity, which became a world-wide movement that has built more than 400,000 houses providing “a simple decent place to live” for more than 2 million people, and in the process helped change the way we think about welfare.
Speak with anyone who has been through a terrible time and come out stronger as a result and they will almost always talk about how an important factor in their ability to endure was a stronger commitment to helping others. You see it in every support group, you see it when ex-cons visit schools to warn kids against a life of crime, and you see it when someone who has lost a job decides to run for the school board.