This blending of paid and unpaid work on behalf of a specific passion is quite remarkable. In many contemporary American communities government workers feel under-funded, unappreciated, and over-worked; and frankly, “burned out” in their formal jobs. They lack restorative energy and have little interest in adding further burdens to their lives by devoting more unpaid time to the same civic cause: “I’m already sacrificing a lot . . . so why do even more?” By contrast, the emerging sage leaders see themselves being involved in both formal and informal roles on behalf of Grass Valley and Nevada City. They envision government as assisting and encouraging rather than providing all of the human services needed in Twin Towns.
Many emerging sages believe the role of government agencies is to facilitate the work of others—especially through nonprofit organizations that increasingly are risking to take on tasks traditionally provided by government. They see the need for government agencies to work across boundaries between themselves and others to solve community-based challenges. One outcome of this distinctive perspective on government is that Nevada County is blessed with over 600 nonprofit organizations that are staffed by talented persons, both paid and volunteer. This unique condition enables the citizens of Twin Towns readily to find a non-government agency that is currently—or potentially could be—addressing a problem about which they care. They can join this nonprofit group and help to bring about improvement, whether a concern about safe bike paths or preserving the Native American history of the region.
What is the Motivation II: On Behalf of Personal Growth and Community Sustainability
The motivations of emerging sages seem to reside in the need for both personal growth and the desire to contribute to the community’s sustainability. The challenges of civic engagement yield wonderful learning and skill enhancements that are great for resumes, but emerging sages rarely mention this benefit. At the community level their powerful motivation is to build an all-encompassing, sustainable community. And this isn’t just about the economy; it’s about culture, social justice and compassion, and preserving the distinctive beauty and vitality of Grass Valley and Nevada City. Emerging sages possess a pervasive sense of urgency because the challenges being faced in the community, state, and nation are onerous. They will not be easily resolved, and must be confronted by multiple community-wide responses: “I am motivated because never before has there been such a need for change in the community.” “I have already seen tangible evidence that change can happen and that our community can benefit from it.”Download Article 1K Club