I selected the phrases for my coloring book to say what I thought might be most important to others within the activist community. But because the coloring book simply has the coloring pages without commentary, I thought I might use this venue to elaborate a bit on why I chose to include what I did.
“It is not about me.”
We are drawn to the causes which are personal to us. It’s only natural, and there’s nothing wrong with fighting the hardest against things which have impacted our lives in some significant way. But it also leaves us vulnerable to making the fight more about our own feelings, our own goals, our own visions, rather than the big picture.
This was at the top of my list of mantras to include in this book. The bottom line is that movements are most easily derailed and destroyed by those inside who begin to focus on their own interests without realizing that they’ve stopped pushing for the overall goal.
Even worse is when those who purport to be focused on doing good in the world let their attention turn away from the need for good in the world and towards the fact that they are doing something. Success should be measured in how many people are fed, not on how many people volunteered to feed them.
True, there is no unselfish good deed. We get personal benefits of some sort by using our time and effort to help others, but while doing good for others nearly always results in benefits for yourself, it doesn’t hold true the other way around. Selfish service can easily do more harm than good.