For years Bishop Bennett Sims of Emory and the Episcopal Church in Atlanta led week long small group seminars on Servant Leadership. 

James Rouse, the urban visionary whose ideas led to planned communities in Reston, Virginia and Columbia, Maryland and to a remarkable urban redevelopment project in Boston called Faneuil Hall spoke at the Servant Leadership week I attended. What a privilege to spend a day with this remarkable man. Rouse urged us to have outrageous visions. He said “The beginning point of planning is to determine the very best that can be.  Don’t worry about feasibility in the first phases of planning. Feasibility will compromise you soon enough.”

       A Karl Menninger poem was given to us in our workshop – a poem which also encourages folks to consider the unthinkable and outrageous.  Let me share it with you and you can pass it on pass it on to your children, grandchildren and your students, should you be a teacher.

          “People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.

          “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

          “If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

          “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

          “Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

          “People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.  Fight for some underdogs anyway.

          “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.  Build anyway.

          “People really need help but may attack you if you help them.  Help people anyway.

          “Give the world the best you can and you’ll be kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”

          Karl Menninger said this about the above quote: “I believe this has never been copyrighted but it has been distributed by Kalen Inc. in Philadelphia to whom I am grateful.”  So am I.