“It has been my constant experience that much can be done if the servant actually serves and does not dictate to the people.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 268
In this US election year, nothing could be more restorative and more challenging than Gandhi’s concept—and actual practice—of “servant leadership.” Of course, you have to be a Gandhi to carry it out to perfection, but the idea of an operation being neither “leaderless” (or “horizontal,” as we sometimes say) nor authoritarian and hierarchical would be a fascinating corrective to the ways we try to run everything today, from popular uprisings to corporations and the government. Books like The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom do a very good job with the alternative structure of successful organizations, but there is a personal, or even spiritual dimension that is more elusive: how to offer leadership without egoism.
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Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.
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