The Moral Peril of Meritocracy

If the first mountain is about building up the ego and defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition, the second mountain is about contribution.

I can now usually recognize first- and second-mountain people. The former have an ultimate allegiance to self; the latter have an ultimate allegiance to some commitment. I can recognize first- and second-mountain organizations too. In some organizations, people are there to serve their individual self-interests — draw a salary. But other organizations demand that you surrender to a shared cause and so change your very identity. You become a Marine, a Morehouse Man.

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