Altruism by Gregg Motley

Gregg Motley. President of the Regional Economic Development, Inc. Submitted photo.


This is not a word we normally use in daily conversation, but according to Rick Boxx of Unconventional Business Network, it is one of the keys to economic success. Altruism is expressed when our actions are for the purpose of benefitting someone else or some other organization at a cost to oneself. Altruism has many benefits to businesses, communities, and individuals, according to a 2013 study by the University of Wisconsin as cited by Mr. Boxx in his daily email on February 15, 2022.

Further, Boxx references a Fast Company article that lists the benefits to companies populated by altruists. It makes sense that these giving people help fellow employees excel, work harder, and are less likely to quit their jobs. An altruistic community member will volunteer for not-for-profit work, donate money to local causes, or support the less fortunate in their neighborhoods. I loved it when several ambitious ladies on our local Chamber board organized a clean-up and spruce up of the Fort Scott historical district last year. Would anyone doubt that these activities make a community or a company better?

Our selfless actions do not have to be big; small efforts like stopping to pick up trash blowing across a parking lot or stuck to a barbed wire fence make a difference. A little over 12 years ago when I started working in Southeast Kansas, I loved it when I got the index finger wave from the top of the steering wheel of an approaching vehicle; it made me feel accepted and a part of the community. In the city, the only waves I got from other vehicles were with a different finger.

I am concerned that rural America is being overrun by a wave of selfishness. It is only natural that when a community is shrinking, resources become scarce and competition for what remains grows. Whether it is the “good old boy” hiring system, hoarding limited resources, or disrespecting the property of our neighbors, businesses and communities lose when the only person that matters is the one in the mirror.

Cities, counties, businesses, etc., all have a personality. It does not take long for one to discern if the entity they are encountering is self-centered or has the best interest of others at heart. Who wants to live in a community or work in a business that tolerates an environment of mistrust and selfishness?

Each one of us can contribute to an environment that is conducive to the economic development we need to stem the tide of population decline and rising taxes. I encourage you to decide which effort, big or small, to which you will commit your time, talent and treasure and make a difference in Bourbon County. We all need your altruism.

2 thoughts on “Altruism by Gregg Motley”

  1. Gregg, I think you would have fit in well with the values of The Western Insurance Companies of the 70’s and early 80’s along with several other Fort Scott Companies.

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