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The Path and the Tao of Public Service

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Book Cover: The Tao of Public Service
(Image by Eric Z. Lucas)
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Book Cover: The Tao of Public Service by Eric Z. Lucas

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you- -ask what you can do for your country.""   President John F. Kennedy, 1961

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A new time and opportunity are on the horizon.   It is a time when those who have the best interests of humanity at heart can forge a new form of life that can lead to a time, as one wise individual put it, when " the present state of fear, and of intense competitive struggle for existence, will be superceded by a real measure of stability and security."  


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In order to usher in such a time, we must all begin to walk our own path, do our life purpose, and fulfill our own mission to the best of our ability.   However, it all begins with service.   Service opens up the possibility of purpose. Without service to others, one's true purpose cannot be found.



 Public Service



Today many refer to one's life purpose or destiny as "the Path."   In certain philosophies of the East "the Path" is also known as "the Way."   "The Tao" means, "the Way."   So this is what we mean when we use the phrase, "The Tao of Public Service."

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When we use the term "Public Service" we are not using it in the old familiar way.   In other words when we say "public" we are not referring to government service, elected office, or even volunteer "community service." And we are not relegating regular work to the realm of the "private."   When we use the term "Public Service" what we mean is work done in the world for the sake of others and by this we mean "any work."  


What this means, in practical terms, is that any task can be done in one way or the other. Any job, any work, any task can be done solely for one's own benefit or for the sake of others: whether it is President of the United States or garbage collector.   In addition, when we refer to a path of public service it should be clear that we are not talking about one path but many paths.   We are talking about the path or work that each person may engage in when they live their everyday life.  

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Eric Z. Lucas is an alumnus of Stanford University (Creative Writing Major: 1972-1975), the University of Washington (1981: BA English Literature and Elementary Education) and Harvard Law School, J.D. 1986. Since law school he has been a public (more...)

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