Author: Jami Goldstein, Vice President Marketing, Communications & Events
Employer: Greater Columbus Arts Council
“Stewardship and being a conscientious public servant go hand in hand. I do not believe you can successfully have one without the other.”
“Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” Constantin Brancusi
I love this quote. It goes right to the heart of stewardship: Do not think of the actions of your life, or your creations, as stand-alone entities, in a vacuum, existing only in the now. Each action we take creates ripples in the world, in the present and into the future. Each creation is an opportunity to make someone else’s life better, and to be a testament to caring about the future of our society and our planet.
Stewardship as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is: “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially, the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” Our founding fathers understood this when they wrote in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States that its purpose was to “…insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”. The last part, “and our posterity,” is forgotten, or worse ignored, far too often these days.
Sadly, I believe our culture has become married not to conscientious stewardship but to immediate gratification. Society, it seems, has come to a place where if our own immediate needs are met, and those of our family, or business, we don’t really care what the repercussions are for the future. My hope for the future is the young people coming of age today, who are becoming more vocal with their disagreement of this behavior.
I have spent most of my 25-year professional career in public service. I am fortunate to work in the arts, a first love, and I am passionate about the impact I see, regularly and first-hand, that the arts have on the lives of people in our community. To me stewardship and being a conscientious public servant go hand in hand. I do not believe you can successfully have one without the other. My sense of the weight of responsibility of good stewardship is strong, and being a public servant is an important part of my identity.
Why did I choose public service? Is there a sense of selflessness that is important to me? I must believe, regardless of whether I’m processing a bill or connecting an artist with a paid opportunity, that my work has a larger purpose, and that the work of my organization has a positive impact on people and our community. I don’t believe I could look at myself in the mirror otherwise.