Dit prachtige artikel kreeg ik in mijn inbox in de vorm van de digitale nieuwsbrief van 'Becoming Minimalist' van Joshua Becker. Zijn artikelen lees ik bijna wekelijks, en vind ze altijd ontzettend inspirerend. Joshua combineert zijn geloofsovertuiging, zijn gevoel om het goed te doen in het wereld, met minimalisme en 'waar het nu echt om draait'. Je kunt zijn artikelen hier lezen.
Dit is geen artikel maar een los stuk in zijn nieuwsbrief, over invloed en onbaatzuchtigheid. Ook zo'n prachtig woord trouwens.
“If your love is only a will to possess, it's not love.” ―Thích Nhất Hạnh
Selflessness. It is an essential key to marriage, friendships, and relationships. It is also an essential key to influence. Yet, often, overlooked.
Selflessness is often overlooked as an essential key to influence because, on the surface, it appears to run in opposition to the very notion. After all, isn't the pursuit of influence by its very nature selfish?
No, it is not. Or at least, it doesn't need to be.
Influence can be used for any number of purposes. It can be used to advance a personal kingdom for selfish reasons (money, fame, prestige, reputation). But it can also be used to pursue justice, happiness, or growth for another person or people group. Influence can be used to solve the problems we encounter in this world. And only when we embrace service and selflessness will we find this lasting influence in our lives and in our world.
Many will try to define success, greatness, and influence in terms of winning out over others, having power over others, and having the ability to dominate others. The lust for power is common and widespread in humans—the power to order others around, the power to make decisions that will impact others, and the power to own when others cannot.
But this type of influence is always short-lived. Nobody is intimately drawn to selfishness. Nobody seeks the wise counsel of a selfish person. Nobody is willing to give themselves up for one who desires his own kingdom above all things.
However, we are uniquely drawn to those who selflessly give of themselves. Those who love and give generously find a type of influence that outlasts position, title, or structure. They find an authority that reaches into our heart and soul. Their example is studied. Their counsel is sought. Their words are lasting. Their stories are told in positive ways. And their influence is truly lasting.
May we refuse to overlook the importance of selflessness. Not just for our own sake, but for the sake of those we choose to love.
“Don’t believe everything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts...
Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real, and you will discover that there are virtuous things and non-virtuous things.
Once you discover that for yourself, give up the bad and embrace the good.”
- Buddhist Boot Camp