The Most Essential Task

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cc photo by J. Delp

Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.  – Desmond Tutu

Many of my days are filled with activities, projects, and tasks. I hurry from one thing to another, and time flies by in a haze of meetings and minutiae. If I have done a good job planning, I typically complete a few items that move me in the direction of accomplishing significant goals. Sometimes, in spite of my best efforts, I end the day harried and exhausted — feeling that I was incredibly busy, but that I failed to finish anything meaningful.

When I consider the productive days, those where I feel good about my work and where I have a sense of accomplishment, they generally have one thing in common. It has nothing to do with the length of my to-do list, or the number of meetings I successfully navigated. It is almost always dependent upon whether, or not, I have done something significant for others.

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Ghandi

There are times that I get so busy planning for the days to come, or wishing time away, that I forgot to seek out the opportunities to do good that are provided by each passing moment. Things as simple as a compliment, a word of encouragement, recognition of a job well done, a thank you, or just spending time with someone may be the most important task I have to complete on any given day.

Doing good for others is such a critical responsibility that I am going to make it a part of my daily planning. What will I do for others today? For my family? For students? For colleagues?

Serving others. The most essential task.

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