"A leader, "said Lao Tzu in his book, known as 'The Book of the Way' or 'Tao Te Ching,' leads without trying to control, has without possessing and steps back from their mind after taking action and lets things unfold.
He said this about two thousand five hundred years ago.
Jesus said, "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord." Matthew 10:25
He said this about two thousand years ago.
Lao Tzu, in his second and only other book authored by him, the 'Hua Hu Ching,' said in his fifty-first lesson that reverence for all life, natural sincerity, gentleness and supportiveness (as in "service to others without expectation of reward") were the four cardinal virtues that led one to truth.
Jesus said himself that he is the truth, the way and the life. Does one man contradict the other? Does the matter have to be pushed all the way outside what we hold as truth in our hearts? Or can people of different faiths keep their faiths, yet meet somewhere in the middle in order to coexist with each other, for the sake of peace? Both pieces of wisdom do not have to clash with one another for dominance but can retain their position and still go shoulder to shoulder in manifesting common good for many through action.
An example of this is the notion of servant leadership, which is to put others before oneself by serving them in healthy, worthwhile and beneficial ways. Public schools and academic institutions can promote this kind of social responsibility from preschool and up through the grades straight into college, regardless of their familial beliefs or backgrounds. Being of service to others and by extension, to one's community is a practice that allows people to live at peace with one another, be their brother's keeper and create a special kind of positive disruption in the land that is inclusive and motivating due to its open door policy.
In addition, could it be that this paradigm would greatly dissipate social maladies, such as suicide and poverty? Surely, this is all idealistic thinking, yet it is an easy reality if we teach it to children (ourselves) early on and sustain its momentum through our professional careers.
Pro-active servant leadership in its most robust form then becomes synonymous with social entrepreneurship. As said earlier, its ability to leave the 'door open' for the inception of people of different races and creeds to 'sign up and come on-board' brings easily recognizable value and benefit to it as a social practice to prioritize as a life skill to be taught and cultivated early on in children's upbringing.
To get this idea off the ground though, the mentors and teachers who are setting the foundations early on in the child's life need to themselves be actual servant leaders who are living, breathing role-models for the children to emulate.
Can you and I be servants to our community in some sustained way without looking for reward or recognition?