Social entrepreneurs of both sexes are imperfect beings — with imperfect answers – acting on imperfect information — for causes with imperfect results. The work can be isolating, tiring, lonely.
We are bruised by long hours, stress, constant disappointment and the outsized stubbornness of social problems. We are bruised by untended family connections and lost friendships.
We feel small even as our hearts are enlarged by the humanity of our work. It’s a lousy trade-off.
Rajasvini “Vini” Bhansali, CEO of IDEX, reminds us, “Women, especially women of color and immigrant women, feel like they must hold it all together.” For men, there is the isolating self-image of the lone (and lonely) decision-maker at the hierarchical top of a social enterprise.
The muckraking journalist I. F. Stone told us in the Sixties: “If you expect to see the final results of your work, you simply have not asked a big enough question.”
In our time, and no less idealistically, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, CEO of Akili Dada in Kenya, asks, “Where does your life bring the most value to the world?”
Woman or Man, social change work is not about you being perfect. It’s about you making a difference.
– Jonathan C. Lewis, Host/Founder, Café Impact (original blog at Huffington Post)