I've been reading a soon-to-be-published book on Digital Dharma: A User's Guide to Expanding Consciousness in the Infosphere, by Steven Vedro, which proposes an integration of spirituality and technology based on the seven chakras. I hope to post an entry on the book after I finish it, but one of the many gems I've encountered in the book so far ties in with some other things I've encountered in other media streams over the past few days, and so I'm going to weave them together in a new stream here.
In a sidebar, Steven recounts Flash Rosenberg's recounting of the true value(s) of Hebrew School, which include a definition of hineini from Rabbi Krinsky that I find inspiring:
The most important duty you have is to be present whenever you are called upon, whenever you are needed, whenever you can help.
My son, Evan's, football coach, Joe Morgan, recently sent around a welcome message to the players and parents of his Woodinville Junior Football team (which has strong, multidimensional team and community spirit, as I've written about before). Joe's message included a signature that offers some related inspiration:
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
This strikes me as a fabulous philosophy to articulate and promote, whether the team is oriented toward athletics, business, politics or any field of human endeavor! [Update: this quote is attributed to Zig Ziglar]
On Friday, I heard a story on NPR's All Things Considered about the retirement of Karch Kiraly that relates to all of this. In an interview with KQED's Rob Schmitz, Kiraly, the winningest volleyball player of all time, who may be the sport's pre-eminent bumper and setter (vs. the more attention-attracting servers and spikers), shared his strategy:
If I can help my teammate - or teammates - play at a level they never played at before, then it doesn't even matter so much how I play.
While many organizations talk a good game about valuing such under-the-radar contributions, very few have any kind of mechanisms to more formally recognize and reward this kind of behind-the-scenes facilitation of others' success - systems of encouragement for being a mensch.
I'll finish off with something I used to do regularly, but from which I've refrained for the past 6 months: invoke the wisdom of Kathy Sierra. In this case, I'll simply borrow a photo she posted in a blog entry on Never Underestimate the Power of Fun, in which she shared a fun example of recognizing employees who typically operate behind-the-scenes - a calendar that includes photos of employees of the Water Services Department of the city of Bryan, TX, along with the annual Drinking Water Quality Report they help produce: