Dear Inner Circle,
Yesterday a group of business people asked me about resilience. The questions they asked made it increasingly clear that they thought that somewhere in everyone’s psychology lives a box that contains a quantity of resilience. “How do you keep the glass half full?” “How do you keep the passion for your mission alive and healthy?” “Don’t you get tired?” All these questions presuppose much the same thing. Some people are so certain of my inner resilience box that on occasion I get invited to write a book on the subject. Alas, the misunderstanding is profound. Our mission doesn’t live in me or in anyone else. It lives between us. There are times when I speak passionately about our mission of creating community with no 'us and them’, but they are only empty words unless the mission lives between us. The good news is that when the mission lives, I find myself to be necessary, significant and not central. Every time I flourish as a human being, whether in the context of my marriage, family, workplace or anywhere else, I find myself to be necessary, significant and not central. The joy that is unleashed by knowing it’s not all about me is all the energy I need. And it's all the energy we need at Wayside to keep doing what we do. When an occasion strikes where I think it’s all about me, I need to stand back enough to allow the mission to take the central position and to recognise it as living - not within, but between us.
Our mission is not difficult but it is counter-cultural. The last thing Wayside or any other workplace needs is people who have loads of patience for visitors or customers and loads of judgement for the colleagues working at their side. Religions everywhere have people who wish to love and serve the whole world, but have an intense dislike for their brother and sister serving beside them.
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