Posts tagged mission
My mission is to create a compassionate world by connecting and calling people to action through storytelling and aesthetics.
In serving my mission, I’ve learned what it means to be a servant.
What does it mean to be of service?
It means that I serve the world, my mission, my friends, my community, and myself. It is not about me. It’s about channeling the energy of something grander than myself. Thus, looking at my life through this lens, I am able to remain humble and keep my ego/grandiosity at bay.
For example, when I do something great and people say “Le, you’re awesome.” I do my best to not let it feed my ego. I take it as “Le, I am grateful for the service because what you do brings me so much joy.”
This way I take immense joy in knowing that my service brought about the impact I want to see in the world. That’s enough for me.
Too often do I do things to get such accolades that make me look good. The dangers of making it about me is that I become grandiose. I drive home messages of “I think I’m better than you” and “I’m too good to do that”. In turn, I isolate myself. I believe that feeding the ego too much leads me to over analyze what others think of me. When my ego dominates my life, I start to lose focus on the mission, and I start doing things for the ego like buying shit I don’t really want just to look good/cool in my friends’ eyes. I take risks that may harm others and myself. I start to people-please. So on and so forth. All of these are distractions.
Nonetheless, it does not mean that I do not take care of myself while serving. Having financial stability, physical/mental/emotional health, training, knowledge, and experience, are all prerequisites to serve effectively.
It has also become easier for me to accept moments when I feel like I’ve failed, I’m not good enough, and etc. These moments I view as necessary hurdles in the journey in becoming a great servant. I might not be making blockbuster documentaries right away, and that’s OK. As long as I’m serving my mission in the best way I can now (even if it means taking a rest for myself), I am content and present.
This is how I’ve come to terms with the motivations and the ups/downs of my life. How about you?
This is what I learned about compassion today. I can’t help but share my story.
“Ding Dong, This is Lawrence.” I was relieved to finally get off the crowded rush hour redline. As I scurried towards the stairs, I saw an obese man sitting in his wheelchair at the top of the stairs. I beamed a smile as I made eye contact with him thinking that it would somehow brighten his day, but what he reflected back at me was an uneasiness. As I walked down I thought to myself, “I don’t remember there being an elevator at the Lawrence redline stop. How in the world is he going to get down?”
Half way down and more confused, I looked back up and saw that he was still waiting there for the last few people to clear out. Wanting to help I took a few steps back then I stopped myself. I thought, “Wait a second, it’s his own damn fault that he’s fat and he has to use a wheelchair to get around. He should suffer and maybe he’ll do something about his weight. I’m not sure he even needs help, and if he does someone else will, not me.” I bit my tongue, turned around, and moved on.
A few seconds later, I felt growing tension, inner conflict, and surging discomfort. I felt something pulling me back. I stopped again. ”Wait a minute! No matter where that man is in his life, no matter how fat he is, no matter what my judgement are, I couldn’t leave that man behind. I will not leave that man behind.”
I then rushed around the corner just to see him shuffle step by step down the stairs while struggling to carry his wheelchair. I called out to him, “Hey man, do you need some help?” And without getting a reply, I climbed up to him and grabbed his wheelchair. After we got to the bottom, he blessed me and told me, “If I couldn’t get down without the wheelchair, I woulda been in trouble.”
Walking away, I felt so good and proud of myself. Then something else happened.
Out of nowhere, I started to weep. As tears rolled down my cheeks I felt disgusted that so many people saw him and just walked by. Not one of them offered to lend a hand. I was sad and ashamed that I was so close to being one of THEM. We are so isolated from each other that we refuse to heed the call to help another human being carry his load.
While writing this blog, I understood why I went back to help him. The same moment I was helping that man lessen his burden, I was also taking off my load–the growing shame I felt walking away and leaving him behind. If I did nothing, I would have been sabotaging my own mission–to create a compassionate world by connecting and calling to action through storytelling and aesthetics.
And that’s what I learned about myself today.
Thank you and please help me share this story. Take a moment to stop, listen to your hearts, and connect with someone. If he’s calling out for help, help him. Do even the smallest thing to be of service to the world, your community, and yourself. Don’t leave the world behind. Don’t leave yourself behind.
P.S. I’m so grateful for my work at the ManKind Project and for all the men who helped me find my mission, kept me accountable to myself, and supported me to live it truthfully everyday.