Seeing myself, the people in my life, and the world in terms of vows has brought me a set of gifts.

I look closely at each person, and try to discern what their vow is. This is a matter of perception, listening, attunement. Who is this person? What are their gifts? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What skills do they have? What is their growth edge? How do they desire to serve the world?

Then, having seen this person to the best of my ability, the question becomes one of behavior, action: how might I help them? How can I help them to move forwards, to live their vow?

With each person in my life, I aspire to see the best in them—to believe in them and their vow. I can reflect what I see to them. I can encourage them with their successes and through their challenges, and make suggestions about next steps or future directions. I can introduce them to others in my network that might be able to help them. I can supply or connect them with resources.

This whole process—seeing someone deeply, and aspiring to help them to live their vow—is something I am currently referring to as empowerment.

I aspire to empower the wise and loving: people with a deep commitment to being of service in the world. I wish to help them find and express their gifts, in a way that brings them deep fulfillment and the world tremendous benefit.

I have realized that this is as critical a part of my vow as spreading loving kindness and following my curiosity.

Looking back on it, I realize I’ve already been doing this for years. But now that I have made it explicit, I believe that it is possible to do this at a larger scale, for maximum deep benefit. I’ve seen examples of this kind of thing from friends and heroes like Visa, Lois Weisberg, Quincy Jones, and Tyler Cowen.

I believe that as I grow my own skills and network, I could build an infrastructure for scaling maximum deep benefit. I imagine a pipeline for systematically identifying people and supporting them in living their vows, including:

  • systematically identifying skilled, beneficent people
  • reflecting and supporting their gifts in relationship with them
  • skillfully discerning their weaknesses, growth areas, and non-naively accounting for those in my interactions with them
  • connecting people with other people that can help them as collaborators, mentors, etc.
  • providing people with monetary resources at scale
  • marketing and publicizing their efforts so that they are able to launch and benefit people more quickly
  • discerning and realizing potential win-win-win feedback loops between various nodes in my broader network

A pipeline like this could have enormous potential for offering maximum deep benefit to the world.

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