matthieu ricard: transform yourself to better serve others

one of my favorite quotes of all time is this line that i quote from grace lee boggs (though, no doubt, she wasn’t the first one to think this):

transform yourself, transform the world.

a couple of weeks ago, that quote expanded in scope a bit for me when i heard matthieu ricard say something similar, but different.

So my motto, in a way, will be to transform yourself to better serve others.

If you see the humanity in the world, grains of sand that bring everything to a halt, it’s corruption, clashes of egos — human factors more than resources. So how to avoid that? There is a lack of human maturity. So it’s not a vain or futile exercise to perfect yourself to some extent before you serve others. Otherwise, it’s like cutting the wheat when it’s still green, and nobody is fed by that. So we need a minimum of readiness to efficiently and wisely be at the service of others. So compassion needs also to be enlightened by wisdom. Otherwise, it’s blind.

now, in a way, the quotes (to me) are saying the same thing. or at least that matthieu’s words are included within boggs’ words. i believe that part of the process of transforming the world includes serving others. but, as ricard says, in order to do that well, one must be working from a place of groundedness and transformation within oneself.

too often people who are wanting to “help” or “serve” others, are actually doing it from either a disingenuous or a place that means well, but is actually bad or masking something else.

or other times, like ricard points to, even if you’re trying to do good work, the human factors of working together in the world allow things like ego and corruption bring the work to a grinding halt (actually, maybe i just said the same thing twice?)

anyway, part of my interest in coaching is that it really only makes sense to me that we can move towards liberation by having people who understand what it looks like to be working on themselves alongside serving others and building bigger work.

i can also imagine that ricard’s twist on this quote (though maybe this is a bad thing) might help folks who are currently driven more by serving others than transforming themselves to actually take some time to focus on themselves.

words / writing / post-processing
281w / 9min / 7min