Our Society Needs Selfless Leaders

What you can’t do for all, you can do for one.

I am overwhelmed by the issues in our society. The news for 2020 was dominated by viruses, elections, protests, wildfires and hurricanes. It’s early in 2021, but I still hear people I care about be disrespectful to people who have a different point of view from theirs. I get disheartened and feel like the issues of today are just way too big. What can I do?

I once saw a slogan that said: What you can’t do for all, you can do for one. We may not be able to solve the big problems of our society all by ourselves. But we can exercise Selflessness by helping solve the problems of one person. In a society where people seem to love to shout their opinions and try to prove they are right, we need more people who think and behave differently.

We define Selflessness as – Putting the needs of others before my own needs, desires, or convenience. Sometimes our most selfless acts are those focused on an individual need versus a societal cause. Don’t get me wrong, those causes are important. But there are times where we are more willing to argue about a cause than we are to take the time to actually serve another individual human being.

The causes we fight for in public – on social media or at dinner parties – give us an opportunity to share our views on important topics. But what are we actually giving up when we make those arguments? Is there any personal sacrifice involved? If we are honest, usually that answer is no.

When we actually take the time to serve someone else, we often have to ignore our needs, desires or convenience in order to help another person. In today’s world, time is our most valuable commodity. Giving up our time to another individual could be the most selfless thing we do this week.

Instead of maintaining our sole focus on the big issues in our society, what about serving another person who is affected by those big issues?

  • Shovel the driveway or rake the leaves for someone who is quarantined.

  • Shop for groceries for an elderly couple.

  • Call a widow or widower to check on them - even if they are in a retirement facility.

  • Hand out water to peaceful protesters and to the police who are protecting the peace.

  • Buy a meal for a homeless veteran – even if you aren’t sure he’s really a veteran.

  • Help a working mom’s kid with their homework before she gets home.

The needs of the many in our society could be relieved if more of us just stopped and looked at the individuals that are right in front of us and asked ourselves, “What can I do for this one person?”

Imagine if ten people in a town found one way to serve another person each week? What if it were 100 people? How would that community change? How would our society change if this became the norm?

What if everyone exercised Selflessness and just once a week – for one person – we put their needs before our own needs, desires or convenience? We’d probably all feel a little less overwhelmed and negative. We’d probably all see a shift occur in our communities. It will have to start with someone. Why not us?

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What opportunities have you passed by recently where you could have helped?

  • What will you do this week when you see an individual in need?


Making a shift towards taking responsibility and living with Selflessness is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Selflessness daily, which is why we have created our Habits of Character Action Guides.

The Selflessness Action Guide offers you a month of daily, interactive training complete with a daily reading, dig deep questions, weekly processing guides and instructions on how to use the guide both individually and with your team. The Selflessness Action Guide is now available here.

We are behind you, championing for you, your teams and your organizations as you become the leader you wish you had. We want to come alongside you as you grow to confidently answer “yes” to the question, “Would you follow you?”

32 views0 comments