For some of the Emerging Sage leaders there is an option, but it is often painful. We see the struggle about work/life balance playing-out in the decision that some sage leaders make to get “out of the rat race” of civic engagement and spend more time with their children and family. For these men and women, there was often no balance to be found between work or civic engagement and love (time with family). They had to choose one over the other.
If a Sage leader decides not to opt out of her civic commitments, and if she is equally committed to quality Generative One time with her family, what can be done to reconcile those sacrifices and trade-offs? We observed that they usually can do so in one of three ways. First, they might consider their project work to be a model for their children and hope that the children will be proud of their efforts and will emulate them during their own adult years. Second, some of our Emerging Sage leaders believed that their civic work would ultimately be of benefit to their children, thus making their outside care-giving simply an extension of their care-giving inside the family. Third, some of these leaders took a more tangible step; they immediately involved their children in their civic projects.
Many years ago Sigmund Freud offered a simple but profound observation that the two ingredients of a happy and successful life are love and work. But Freud failed to mention that it isn’t always easy to balance the demands inherent in both love and work—especially when love has to do with raising children and work has to do with finding time and energy to successfully engage in a project.
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