Mouth of the South and Hammering Hank…
Ted Turner and Henry Aaron took center stage at the Georgia Historical Society Annual Dinner this weekend. These men are Georgians. They are friends. They are men who spent the first part of their lives accomplishing impressive personal goals.
Now, with the benefit of age and experience, both have come to see service to others as their highest call. Billionaire Turner’s heroes have shifted from the warrior Genghis Kahn to peace makers Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Baseball legend Aaron cares more about the number of kids his Foundation has helped with college scholarships, than his home run record.
One might walk away with the idea that the first 50 years of one’s life is to be solely devoted to making one’s personal climb to the top. Once there, the luxury of service to others avails itself. This reading of the evening’s message would be unfortunate for all concerned.
Here are a few questions that we might ask ourselves after hearing Turner’s and Aaron’s message:
- How much of the service I offer within the community is personal vs. professional?
- How much of the service I offer within the community guides me outside of my corporate comfort zone?
- How much of the service I offer within the community draws me closer to people who live lives different than mine?
- How much of the service I offer within the community is freely given rather than quid pro?
- How much of the service I offer within the community encourages an egalitarian community rather than elitist community?
- How much of the service I offer within the community involves my hands and my heart more than my wallet?
- How much of the service I offer within the community is transforming me?
If we are to accept the insight Hank Aaron and Ted Turner offered on Saturday evening, we should all begin to invest ourselves personally and directly in the lives of people whose climb is tougher than ours. Don’t wait.
A personal note of thanks to Don and Kaye Kole for the invitation and hospitality during the evening.