A call to stewardship requires a change of heart.
There are people who simply don’t get it. Our world is at an important moment. That means us! We have been given a wake up call over the last year, and time to reflect on fragility of health, time spent with family, acknowledging unsung heroes who serve. Just as thousands around the world are struggling for life’s breath, it has also been a time when the skies fell quiet, roads emptied and the planet breathed cleaner air. Just as thousands around the world have given all of themselves to combat the Covid virus, economies have shrunk, jobs have been lost and many will be fearful for the future.
A future that cannot be like the past…can it? Surely, we have learned some things from this wretched experience. Haven’t we?
Countless people in intensive are units have had to surrender their lives into the care of doctors and nurses who are only too happy to take responsibility for stewarding that precious gift through sacrificial selflessness. They draw on something deeper, more profound and more beautiful. Being ‘other’ focused. Not interested in glory but fulfilled through giving’ and ‘taking care’. And in so doing, their hearts are enlarged and their lives display meaning. Furthermore, if we have been more openhearted, this has tapped something deep in us, in our humanity. We are moved.
If we have learned anything, it must surely be that this moment in history is one in which each of us has a responsibility to respond selflessly. As parents and grandparents, we must search our hearts and look our children and the next generations in eye and say that we are even more interested in them, their future and helping them build a different version of tomorrow than yesterday. And if we are young, we will need to be able to take the hand of the older generations and walk with them towards a brighter tomorrow as wholehearted citizens not closed hearted selfish consumers.
Finally, as I have been a calling to work with leaders, I have this to say to those that would want to lead and to those that find themselves reluctantly leading these nervous next steps. Be open-hearted, generous of spirit and collaborative in actions. Know that you are called to an extraordinary role that is to create the culture in which all of us acknowledge our responsibility as stewards of something so much bigger. Your role as leaders is to frame the need for stewardship of our planet, our societies, our wellbeing in a way that shuns short term selfish gratification or defensiveness in favour of caring for and cherishing life across the entirety of our amazing world.