The difference between rich and poor is not money. It is the ability to manage the resources available. Many have inherited great amounts of wealth to die broke. Others were born into little and leave behind a legacy.
In the annals of history and the stories of today, Captains of industry are less influential than the Stewards of relationships. In other words, the Empire is less important than the Builders. Regardless of what is built, it is temporary and limited in effect. Those who touch hearts and souls, today, influence the future for many generations.
As we consider our “ships” of families, friends, and communities, why is our role of “steward” important; and, who, really, is the ultimate beneficiary?
Let’s take a look at what stewardship is.
Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee’s responsibility for managing a household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers’ domestic needs on a ship, train, and airplane or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something owned by someone else.
At the moment we fully embrace the reality of our temporary existence, our view of life changes. In the simplest of terms, our focus shifts from Stuff, to People.
Our thinking changes to embrace the concept of Service over Self. To do so, we abandon any desire to have power over another. We take inventory of our gifts and work to multiply their effectiveness by mentoring, nurturing, and sharing in authentic ways the best of all that we have been given.
Specifically, great Stewards:
• Share Information
• Are Accessible
• Keep Their Hands Engaged
• Stand For Something
• Banish Superficial Distractions
• Make Everything Better
• Coach, Mentor, and Serve
To share, we must, first of all, possess something of value. We have all been entrusted with unique gifts and have a fiduciary responsibility to enhance them into more powerful tools.
People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. We must be willing to move to where others are to guide them to where they want to go.
The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned. To fully understand the process, we must engage our hands to enlighten, empower, and encourage the mind.
We learn to walk by falling down. Those most appreciative of standing are those who have been beaten down and, yet, refuse to submit their ideals to the vulgarity of others.
The outward appearance is less important than the inward character. Rather than become copies of societal propaganda, it is imperative to enhance the unique image of who we are.
There is always a better way. What got us here will not take us to where we need to go. Good, Better, Best — Never let us rest, ’til our good is better and our better, best.
The greatest enduring gift of love is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.
In summary, stewardship is a dynamic focus on home, abundance, and the responsibility to give of ourselves to receive the best of all that the universe has to offer!