Dedication to Public Service (GS Paper 4)

Dedication to Public Service

What is Dedication?

  • Dedication is the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose, thought or action.
  • Dedication is an important personality characteristic of an individual. In organizational context, dedicated employees work towards achieving the organizational goals.

What is Motivation and how it is different from dedication?

  • Motivation is the reason for self-engaging in a particular behavior to achieve a purpose. It is the push of the mental forces or impulses to accomplish, to encourage an action you are pursuing.
  • Motivation doesn’t last. Motivated is generally a short-term state. Motivation may get you started, but it certainly won’t finish the job. That is why it is recommended to be motivated daily. We are inspired by possibilities, encouragements, even necessities.
  • Motivation is generally based on the reward gained by performing a certain action. Motivation will push you to get started and may carry you into the first stages of accomplishing a goal. However, it soon drops off and may show up again later in the process. The reason for this drop in motivation is simple. Without any obvious benefits from our actions, the brain doesn’t send the same signals.
  • Dedication will carry you through a lack of motivation. It is your ability to continue acting when motivation is lacking. Motivation will bring you to base camp, dedication will drive you up the mountain.
  • Self-motivation is a driving force within you that activates your actions without being directed by others. It is a fire from within ~ a burning desire, so to speak. Becoming self-motivated gives you the power to decide. You make your own choices and hold yourself responsible/accountable to the results from your activities or inactivity.

What is Perseverance?

  • Perseverance is the act or quality of holding to a course of action, belief, or purpose. To persist or act in spite of opposition or discouragement is to persevere.
  • Persevering means to keep going through a hard time without giving up.

What is Commitment?

  • Commitment is an agreement to perform a particular activity at a certain time in the future under certain circumstances. Commitment is the act of binding yourself to a course of action.
  • Commitment is action. No excuses. No debate. No lengthy analysis. No whining about how hard it is. No worrying about what others might think. No cowardly delays.
  • Very often, we utilize this word in regard to proclamations we may make about the seriousness of our relationships. For example, “I’m committed to you” suggests that I may not be seeking another relationship or that I’m going to be monogamous.

What is Spirit of Service?

  • Under Spirit of Service, people feel the need to contribute to their countries or society in a particular way. The Public Servants work with grace, great enthusiasm and exceptional professionalism. Spirit of Service is about believing in what you are doing.
  • Working in India partly gives the impression that the spirit of service in the public sector is dying. You begin to see this from airports of certain countries. You meet immigration officers and airport staff that show on their faces that they are at pains attending to you. They would rather be elsewhere.
  • You get similar experience as you go to the Ministry of Lands to follow up on your application for a piece of land you would want to acquire. The public servant sitting on the other side of the table looks very disinterested in attending to you. His attention is split between attending to you and listening to the small radio on his table. The story is the same when you rush to a clinic or hospital because you have suspected malaria. The officers attending to you are unable to hide their displeasure in the work they do. Things get a lot nastier when you go to the police station to report an incident. You are ridiculed for having your items stolen and then given a lecture on what you should do next not attract thieves.

What is Self-Actualisation?

  • Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization. It is the organism’s master motive, the only real motive: “the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive… the drive of self-actualization.”
  • According to Abraham Maslow, the basic needs of humans must be met (e.g. food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belongingness) before a person can achieve self-actualization – the need to be good, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life.

Some public servants ‘dedicate’ their lives to public service even at the cost of their personal life and comfort. Which factors determine a civil servant’s dedication to public service?

  • There are some profession in which personnel dedicate their lives to public service even at the cost of their personal life, fun and comfort. It is against the famous theory of Motivation (Maslow’s hierarchy of need). Where someone risks his life and comfort for anything other than Physiological, Safety, Love, Esteem and Self-actualisation needs, it goes outside the explaination of Maslow’s Hierarchy of need.
  • Following factors gives  explanation to this:
  1. Institutionalisation: This happens especially in case of Police and Army forces. Here a new recruit is so deeply institutionalised to deliver their duty through training/drills that it makes them ready for “Call of Duty”. Also, the recruits are just like normal person while joining with intent of job and economical security , but with training and institutionalization they start taking nation’s interest first.
  2. Altruism + Self-Actualisation: This can be found in statesman, noble doctors and honest civil servant. In this case, many person actually have Altruism as their trait and consider doing good for nation as self-actualisation of their potential and caliber. They devote their time, effort and even work-life balance using their management skill, team working and knowledge to strive for better and better results in public space. They consider their duty as of supreme priority and attain satisfaction on delivering it with nearest perfection.
  3. Early Socialisation and Value development in an Individual:- Individuals who were instilled values of patriotism, service and sacrifice in their childhood stage reflect them later by serving society. Their parents , school and community played a significant role in instilling such values to them.
  4. Benevolence:- Benevolence toward all is the ethical spirit of public administration. It is about public interest and business administration is about the private interest. “Without benevolence, public administration is merely governmental work. With benevolence, our field has a meaning and purpose beyond just doing a good job; the work we do becomes noble—a kind of civic virtue”
  5. Tolerance and Compassion towards weaker Section
  6. Fearlessness and Courage
  7. Spirit of Service and Sacrifice
  8. A sense of Mission and Focus

Q. What is betrayal?

  • Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the others.

Q. What is the difference between fearlessness, courage and bravery?

  • Fearlessness is the complete absence of fear. You simply do not feel it.
  • Courage is the ability to face and confront fear, pain, danger and uncertainty and take action in spite of it.
  • Courage is a result of mindfulness. It is one’s decision to fight despite frightful consequences. Bravery is an inherent characteristic. It doesn’t involve much thinking and rather manifests itself second to human nature for those who have it.

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