What would you do to help people?

The question my wife asked me this morning brought to the surface, once again, a “calling”, or a sense of mission that I’ve carried around with me since at least the age of six. She asked, “If money were not an issue, what would you do to help people?” My immediate answer was, “I would help them form community. “

Another related question that I’ve often been asked lately – especially as I find myself unemployed – is, “what do you want to do?” And it seems that the immediate answer which pops into my head before thinking about it (desires come before thinking anyway) is, “I want to save the world.” Forming or creating community is how I want to save the world – not an organization (although organizing will be necessary), not a religion or an institution. This also reveals a large assumption on my part – the world is broken, or needs to be saved (made “whole” or healed) because the relationships that humans have with their “self”, with one another, with their environment, and with God (or with “That Which is Unsurpassable”, and opinions may vary on what That is) are broken or unhealthy. “Community”, in other words, consists of humans who are aware (enlightened) of how they are related to others, and experience and practice being related in healthy ways. Creating community will require some teaching or sharing of ideas, some practice, experience, and, as we humans seem to require it, some organization and structure. It will also (not simply also because it is the most critical ingredient) require power – nothing happens without power – not the kind of power politicians and many others are relying upon to save them and the power that Jesus rejected – but the kind of power with an unlimited source and supply – the power of love.

Obviously, for two large reasons, what I want to do, and how I want to do it, requires the collaboration of others.

  • The task is too large. It ultimately will require a worldwide effort.
  • What I want to create – the material I wish to use to create the product – is others.

It doesn’t matter that this seems an impossible task. Somehow it seems almost immoral to stop short of trying to save the world – perhaps stopping with some self-improvement, or some effort to help a few people by working at a nursing home. Not that there’s anything wrong with those efforts, but unless those kind of efforts are understood to be part of and contribute to the larger task – to save the world – they seem far too trivial and menial.
So, this is what I want to do. It’s my business, my career, my employment, my mission, my vocation… it’s what I believe I have been called to do. I am qualified to do this by my education (both formal and informal), experience, gifts, and desire. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been able to find a role that fits me or that I can fit into comfortably – like the role that fathers, mothers, priests, pastors, doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, etc., fit into or are forced to fit into by society. I’m going to have to create my own role. Perhaps that is what an entrepreneur is.
But enough about me. I don’t want to discuss me, I want to discuss my plans. I think you would agree, if the world is to be saved, some planning will be required. However, just as I don’t believe that the world became the way it is because of planning, or with any particular design in place, I’m quite sure that planning (in spite of the best efforts of politicians), won’t save it.