Making a Living vs. Making a Life

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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The quote “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” is often attributed to Winston Churchill. However, Churchill never said these words. Instead, he said these, which I find to be even more beautiful and inspiring:

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?

This quote reminds me of Carey’s mission statement:

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School supports business knowledge development and education through our own initiatives, innovations, and collaborative programs across the Johns Hopkins University. We create and share knowledge that shapes business practices while educating business leaders who will grow economies and societies, and are exemplary citizens.

Just as Churchill spoke of our responsibility to humanity while we are on this Earth, Carey’s mission statement speaks to the responsibility we expect from our graduates, staff, faculty, and current students. How will you make business better after you graduate? How will you behave as leaders? How will you grow economies and societies? How will you live as exemplary citizens?

I don’t expect an answer to these questions right now, but what I do hope is that you are constantly striving to leave your job, employees, colleagues, profession, industry, function better off than before you arrived. And, that, in the back of your head, you are always asking yourself, “will the world be a better place for those who will live after [I am] gone?”

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