My Dad passed on March 3rd, 12 hours short of his 90th birthday.
My father was a remarkable man. He taught me about the gift of “service.”
He taught his daughter that service is different from “helping” or “fixing” people, situations, institutions. That in “helping” and “fixing” one often sees individuals and institutions as being weaker than oneself, and that people could feel diminished, something my father never wanted.
My father taught me that service honors life, and the wholeness and holiness of life. And that service is not about taking credit for whatever is accomplished, but that amazing things could be achieved when one does not care who takes the credit.
And this brings me to Mr. Karp, who arrives in Newburyport, MA today for his first encounter with the people of Newburyport, MA.
And my hope would be that Mr. Karp would see Newburyport, MA not as a place to be “fixed,” or a place to be “helped.” But that Mr. Karp would use his knowledge, his expertise and his wealth in a spirit of “service.” That he would honor Newburyport, MA, and see his purpose, not as putting his “mark” on our small New England city, but see his work here, as a way of enriching Newburyport’s “wholeness” and enriching the city’s “spirit.”
That he might see himself not as a “powerful” landlord, but as a servant to a place that is much greater than himself.