Stewardship

Stewardship

Stewardship is when we tend to the spaces, places, resources, and relationships in our emotional world so they are nourished sustainably and not left depleted.

  • Thriving ecosystems flow and grow from sustained attention to what matters and cultivating improved well-being over time.
  • The attitude of stewardship is an upgrade over “ownership” because it starts with self-empowerment now while respecting all those who have come before and will come after.
  • Stewardship is meant to be shared, by all. It’s inclusive.

Leave the Campsite Better Than You Found It

We often “outsource” the tending. When we get a hotel room, we’re paying someone to have cleaned and prepared it for us, and to tend to it after we leave. Those that do such tending can relate too many stories of abuse, destruction, and theft. It’s almost like many people who rent a hotel room feel entitled to take and feel no connection to those who came before nor those who come after.

Imagine you are taking your family for their first camping trip. You visited the site early in the season and knew you wanted to stay there three months later.

What if everyone who camped at that site that season depleted it? Left trash? Never bothered to clear the ashes from the fire ring? Abused the picnic table?

You arrive after a long journey to find it will take two hours just to clean up. This shared, community resource has been… depleted. Damaged.

Now, how might it be different if someone who had an attitude of stewardship was there just before you…

  • The campfire was not only cleared out, but it was also ready for lighting with a small collection of logs nearby.
  • The tent spot was free of trash and had been smoothed out.
  • A note welcomed you, wished that you enjoy your time there as much as they did, told you about a sweet hidden swimming hole, and invited you where possible to leave the campsite even better than you found it.

For us who are devoted to co-creating a thriving lifestyle for everyone, stewardship feels like a core attitude. At the campsite, renting a home, picnicking at the park, engaging with fellow humans… if our approach is to seek where possible to enhance well-being then mutual thriving is likely.

Your Lover is Another’s Friend

When we tend to another being with love, we are also being a steward of all the other relationships they have.

Lovers also have friends. The quality of stewardship within their lovership will impact their friends. A lover who is depleted and strained will need resources FROM their friends. A lover whose life is consciously enhanced by their partner will have resources to share with their friends… in abundance!

Your co-workers also have friends, lovers, and pets. So do the people who are sharing the road with you.

Stewardship is not meant to be a burden. It’s not that we’re forced to always leave a person or landscape “better” than we found it. It’s that it matters to use to be aware of how people get depleted (just like natural resources can) and seek sustainable ways of replenishing them.

Life can indeed be hard, even for those who are thriving. When our we-spaces are tended to be those aware of stewardship and its hearty rewards, everyone’s well-being improves.

Useful Questions

  • How can I leave this place (or person) better than I found them?
  • Can I feel gratitude for those who came before alongside respect for those who will follow?
  • Is there some small action – well within my resources right now – that cleans up the energy right here, right now?
  • If I have behaved like a typical owner/renter/visitor in the past, how would being a steward change what I do (and don’t do) in this situation? How would that make me feel?

Resources

Related Concepts

Abundance, Awareness, Co-Creating, Devotion, Ecosystem, Lifestyle Design, Resilience, Sacred Decisions, We-Space


Contributors: @Rick

We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:

  • Life examples where this concept has played a role
  • Other useful questions
  • Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
  • Memes, quotes, and inspiring images
4 Likes

I remember when my husband was working, I tried to send him off with a good breakfast and cheerfulness. Why? Because I hoped that if he was in a good mood he would spread it to customers and co-workers. Somehow I learned this and tried to practice it. Hopefully it worked.

2 Likes

I’m pretty sure that sending him off with a shitty breakfast and grumpiness would have been spread to customers and co-workers… so why not the Good Stuff Spreading, too?

I made breakfast and packed lunch for the family this morning. I have NO DOUBT that it improved their emotional energy and nutritious resources. I like this energy of Stewardship – seems it expands from “just” the personal act of loving service to include the downstream influences.

3 Likes