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Deep Caring XXVII: Generativity Four—The Sacrifices

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Emerging Sage Leaders

The Emerging Sage leaders are evenly divided between those who believe that civic engagement definitely involves personal sacrifice and those who believe it does not. And there are some who hold mixed views.

Sacrifice? Yes and No

Emerging Sages who believe their civic engagement has been at great personal sacrifice offer three principal reasons: time away from family, impact on health, and harm to domestic bliss:

I feel I sacrifice the time I have with my two young children. A day does not go by when I don’t feel guilty about the hours I spend at work and on civic activities. I involve my kids whenever there is an opportunity, and they are often the youngest participants at a community event. I also make great effort to be present when I am at home and to work after they go to bed.

One of our Emerging leaders even attributed separation from his wife in part to his civic engagements:

Honestly, because I am so passionate about my work, it is really easy to allow myself to become wholly consumed by it. This hasn’t been good for my personal life. Recently, I separated from my partner of eighteen years, and my consuming passion for my work definitely was one of the factors. I did not have a healthy work-life balance, and that clearly impacted my personal relationship.

About an equal number of Emerging Sage leaders say their civic involvements do not require personal sacrifice, and they offer three reasons: personal fulfillment, family involvement, obligation:

I don’t feel there is sacrifice because I choose to put my energy into things that I’m really passionate about. I don’t get involved out of a sense of “should” because I realize that those things don’t give me energy.

It certainly helps to have a spouse who is similarly oriented:

I’m fortunate to have a wife who is actively involved. We enjoy doing these things together. This is a life I have chosen and feel I have been called to. So I don’t see my civic involvement as something outside of my life. It permeates everything I think about and do. There is no disconnect between it and my teaching, coaching, family, and the property we live on. It is all connected and is the best it can be.

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