Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Peril of Self-Aggrandizement

Call me a Negative Nancy, but I believe that not just one but many monsters lurk inside each one of us.  To address them all doesn't require a blog post; it requires an encyclopedia and a wiki website.  So for today, let's limit things to just one small, tidy monster.

There is a terrible monster inside each of us.  A proclivity.  A need.  We all desperately want to be important, to feel validated, to show that our work and our influence extends beyond ourselves.  We plunge recklessly forward, going to remarkable lengths to indulge this monster...sometimes to the point of defeating the ultimate goals we have in mind.

This week I find myself involved in a new project (which will remain unidentified for the time being).  There is a goal, and then there are several ways to get there.  Some ways are "big".  They involve incorporation, a board of directors, and extensive (and enduring) involvement with the City of Denver.  Other ways tread more lightly and leave fewer footprints.  They lack the gravitas and politico-sexiness of the Big Infrastructure path.  Out with the board of directors, in with the cheap DIY business cards.

The question is one of efficacy and goal.  If we wish to build a towering testament to our skills, egos, and enlightenment, then perhaps the "big" way is best.  But if our eyes remain on the prize, the REAL prize, then we may find that our cause and our comrades are best served by doing our work and then just stepping out of the way.

Someday this will be less vague.  I promise.

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