Well, me too. Every now and again I have a pity party for myself about the long hours I work, and sometimes I wonder if it is worth it.
And then I watched The Queen at 90, a documentary on Queen Elizabeth II at her 90th birthday.
I was totally humbled.
Not only does she work incredible hours, she has done it for 65 years—probably longer if you count her years before she became queen. And she does it with grace and a profound sense of duty and service. Her kindness is legendary. She does more than 300 engagements a year, rarely has a day off, starts her day with paperwork, and often ends in the late evening. And she does it unrelentingly—year after year.
Queen Elizabeth II is gracious to strangers, and she seeks opportunities to thank those who make a difference, honor those in service to others, and develop youth to be leaders for tomorrow. And yes, she has a support staff, but a support staff cannot provide the energy, the unrelenting commitment to duty and service. That comes from within.
What struck me the most in addition to duty and service was the demand for absolute perfection every time, at every event, and the personal sacrifices she has made over the years. There is no girls’ night out. There is no jetting off for the weekend for a little holiday. Everything is scrutinized constantly.
So I am humbled. And reminded again that duty and service are part of the legacy each of us leaves in our own way. In our own time. For those whose lives we touch.
If you are in service to others—whether it be in the ministry, in business, in social work, in teaching, in law enforcement, in healthcare, or any other profession—her example is a model for us all.
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