Perhaps it is better expressed by senior sages as the search for personal fulfillment rather than self-interest. Senior sages discuss this motivation in various ways:
The need is simply there. If it wasn’t, we would have to invent it to meet our need for personal fulfillment. It has to do with propelling the quality of our community life, and I am privileged to want to give the balance of my life to this goal.
I’m a social person and I like to be involved. There’s no way that in retirement I’d sit around and knit or read all the time. And I enjoy being appreciated. It’s fun to be a big frog in a little puddle. People actually thank me for what we’re doing in offering superb music, and I feel we’re succeeding. It’s very inspirational and keeps me going!
And for other senior sages, it’s something more innate:
It’s simple. I was raised that way. My father, a blue collar worker with two years of high school, used to say, “When you make a living in your community, you give back in whatever way you can.” So this has been a family tradition that has been passed on. Also, having been in education, it is natural to think of service to my community in this way.
Certain things have to be done, and it’s just something that I do. I don’t really think about it, and I don’t need to be told. If I see that something is needed, I do it.
It’s just who I am, it’s how I was raised. It’s also a way to have a sense of belonging, of knowing it’s my community. And it’s a way to have a personal role. I’m a “2” in the Enneagram, a helper.Download Article 1K Club