Recently I came across a truly eloquent speech (by Dr. Frank Bia) that articulates things many of us have felt but didn’t have the words to express. The target audience is graduating physicians but the sentiments are applicable to anyone who has found their calling in public service. Here are some selections from the speech that I found particularly appropriate for library workers:
“I found myself appreciating how I could make a difference – one
patientpatron at a time. It made me happy, and that very much mattered to me.”
“You see “Self-ishness” becomes a virtue when your own happiness is tied to service, just as Schweitzer described – finding whatever uses you up to your fullest capacity, and knowing that you are loving nearly every minute of work.”
“And you don’t have to go abroad or provide care for the uninsured to commit yourself to service. You just need to remain
patientpatron-centered, and neither dictated to nor consumed by a flawed system of healthcare. Then you will find your own happiness of personal excellence in service”.
Phenomenal. I recommend reading the whole thing.
I now have an improved understanding of altruism; it does not have to be selfless, and it is absolutely crucial to one’s true happiness. Through helping others, we help ourselves. You can even start small, by beginning with a smile.