Be a Contribution

Who am I? What am I?


I introduced The Art of Possibility by Roz and Ben Zander. It’s a set of 12 practices brought to life with wonderful stories. One is the practice of being a contribution

Instead, life is revealed as a place to contribute and we as contributors. Not because we have done a measurable amount of good, but because that is the story we tell.

When I began playing the game of contribution, on the other hand, I found there was no better orchestra than the one I was conducting, no better person to be with than the one I was with; in fact, there was no “better.” In the game of contribution you wake up each day and bask in the notion that you are a gift to others.

The practice of this chapter is inventing oneself as a contribution, and others as well. The steps to the practice are these: 1. Declare yourself to be a contribution. 2. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why. The contribution game appears to have remarkable powers for transforming conflicts into rewarding experiences.

Are we a contributor to the good of society, of those around us? Or are we following our selfish passions unaware and uncaring about our impact upon those around us? Am I spreading a virus because I want to have some beers with friends? Or to gather in my house of worship?

Or—maybe I am finding ways to contribute to health and justice and peace?

As always, first comes awareness and then comes decision.

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