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The Power of Servant-Leadership by Peter B. Vaill, Larry C. Spears, Robert K. Greenleaf

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8

Old Age: The Ultimate Test of SpiritAn Essay on Preparation

Spirit! What are we talking about? The unabridged dictionary I consulted begins a full page of definitions with “The breath of life.” But dictionaries can do little more than summarize common usage; and it seems clear to me, after reading the full page of definitions, that there is no well-accepted meaning for this much used and important word.

I conclude, then, that I cannot give a concise definition for spirit, for which old age seems to me to be the ultimate test. The meaning of that word, as I use it, lies beyond the barrier that separates mystery from what we call reality. Yet I have a sharp awareness of spirit when it is present, in myself and others, and I have a depressing ...

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