I had an interesting conversation this morning about motivation in service work. I was quoting this phrase I had learned from a friend almost a decade ago ”learn the joy of mutual interdependence.” It’s a somewhat complex phrase, but it’s stuck with me because it’s powerful.
It’s helpful in any type of community: in a family we realize that each one of us can depend upon, and often, built our lives in ways that count on one another. In a company, or team, each person needs the other to fulfill their role. In community service, donor and recipient have much to lean and benefit from each other.
The interesting part came when I was saying it was so helpful because it has shown me that “I’m better off in communities, or systems where interdependence is fostered.” Someone pushed back on that a little. They said, why always engage in things with a motivation to improve our situation or position? In some cases one person really doesn’t need another, they could be fine just going forward in life without input or connection to the other. Yet, if they give of their resources or self, they’ll be “no worse off” and the community or effort would be better. Sometimes it’s good to do things, not because we need to or ought to. Sometimes it’s cool to do things, just because we can.
Made me think of the time Jesus turned water into wine. He didn’t need to, but he could. I wonder where I can give, or serve, or help for no reason other than…I can.