Thinking about Green

Post Date: March 16th, 2014


St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and believe it or not, the cusp of spring is around the corner. That brings the color green into focus. Green reminds me of growth – think green buds – and has me musing about my growing edge.

I am six weeks into a new job, serving of counsel to an excellent law firm. The partners were looking for a highly experienced person to provide strategic help with cases and assistance in developing the associates – a wisdom figure. It is a perfect fit for me in this stage of my life.

Maslow’s five-level Hierarchy of Needs comes to mind.

The first level, my physiological needs (breathing, food, water, sleep), have been met all my life. I grew up just this side of poor, however, so the second level (safety and financial security) was not achieved until I became an adult. I have love and belonging, the third level, in my family and friends. The fourth level is self esteem, achievement, confidence, respect of others. I have met this level through my professional careers in nursing, law and the judiciary. The respect of others was evidenced by a lifetime achievement award when I retired.

I think it is fair to say that I have not only achieved but mastered the first four levels.

So this new position comes at a time when I am in the fifth level, the self-actualization realm, being, as the Army says, all you can be. It gives breath to my teaching and mentoring instincts. It allows me the opportunity to use my accumulated experiences. It permits me a certain financial freedom to indulge creativity and charitable choices.

It seems to me that the law firm is in the fourth level of Maslow’s hierarchy. The early-middle-aged partners are confident achievers and have gained others’ respect. They seek to move their practice into the highest forms of mastery. They are interested as well in the continued development of the associates who are in earlier stages of the self-esteem level. And they seek my assistance with both. What a wonderful melding of three generations of attorneys.