I was just on the phone with a friend. The conversation seemed to hover around the merits of letting ourselves have our moments of glory, our “day under the sun,” versus being more concerned with doing our part to somehow raise the quality of the lives of others. My friend suddenly recalled an incredible quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism, or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
I was thrown for a loop, for it immediately occurred to me that much of my life up until now had not been on the side of creative altruism. As we talked, I slowly realized: isn’t that the whole essence of this thing called the Impresario?
I’ve been writing about the Impresario now every day for about a month, and for some reason I never really delved into the most important aspect. The Impresario seeks out collaborators for his vision, not out of some sense of self-importance, but because he knows that it’s not about him. The Impresario is nothing more than an Altruist.
The great thing about “creative altruism” is that any field can be a vessel for it. Even a job. My job, for example, as an Entertainer, could be performed in such a way as to make every member of my audience feel special. Already, I am practicing “creative altruism.”
Creative Altruism must be the missing link from any activity that does not feel imbued with significance. If we are feeling lost or misguided in our lives, it must be because we are concentrating too much on serving ourselves and not enough on serving others. If we are disillusioned or full of malaise, it must be because we have forgotten how to make someone else feel driven or motivated.
The concept that “it’s not all about you” may seem like a rebuke from our childhood days, but it is actually a philosophy encompassing a way of life. It’s the secret of what Karl Jung calls “integration,” and integration is exactly what the Impresario wants to do – to become a member of society whose contributions improve society, and the world, at an exponential rate.
King quoted by Johnny Fritts.