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The birth of our children and now the joy of experiencing grandparenthood have revealed to me a deep motivation I have not really articulated before. It is a sense of hope that we can make the world a better place for the next generation.

 The birth of our children and now the joy of experiencing grandparenthood have revealed to me a deep motivation I have not really articulated before. It is a sense of hope that we can make the world a better place for the next generation. It is a hope that is deeply grounded in love. Love is not just for my family whom I love dearly. It is for all of humanity. Having experienced such love reveals to me that love is indeed a shared human reality and power. Love for family and children expands to the human family and creation. As I reflect on my community elders, parents and grandparents, I have come to realize that they too loved me and what they did, they did so that I might have a better life. Love is active and it is inter-generational!

Hope grounded in love is more than wishful thinking. It involves a commitment and passion for the good of others. Love is not passive but an active passion. Why do I do what I do? Because my hope is nurtured by the love I have received and known from my community elders, family and children.

This essay and portrait is part of a community-art and leadership project called “wdydwyd?” Tony Deifell (KNLP-16) invited his colleagues in the Kellogg Fellowship to reflect on what motivates them to follow their personal and professional paths by answering the question, “Why do you do what you do?”


“wdydwyd?” has reached over 1.5 million people worldwide and it has been used for team-building at Google, Twitter, many colleges and universities, nonprofits and K-12 classrooms. And, according to Wired Magazine, “In Silicon Valley, that question has been the hottest team-building meme since Outward Bound – and it’s spreading.” For more information: http://wdydwyd.com/leadership.


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