The Practice of
International Public Service
Traveling the service-choice spiral combines both professional and personal development, which are intertwined in a life of international public service. Rather than an exercise in goal-setting and achieving milestones, we see a life in international public service as akin to the Buddhist notion that you don't “live” your religion, you practice it. The joy, and the beauty, is that we will never arrive. We will, hopefully, always be practicing and learning as we make our journeys along the service-choice spiral.
We close the book with a quote from George Bernard Shaw that James Grant, the visionary leader of UNICEF until his death in 1995, indicated was one of favorites. For us, this quote captures the essence of public service, the fundamental interpenetration between the individual and the community, and the notion of sustained commitment to a better world not just today, but for the future:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by
yourself as a mighty one. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to
the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for
it whatever I can. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid
torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it
burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Working for Change: Making a Career in International Public Service. Contributors: Derick W. Brinkerhoff - Author, Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff - Author. Publisher: Kumarian Press. Place of publication: Bloomfield, CT. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 177.
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