I was impressed with the food at an event I helped to facilitate a few weeks ago – it was delicious and there was a lot of it. On the first day, I noticed that there was far more food put out than consumed and the leftovers were cleared by staff at the venue. After leaving I wondered what happened to the uneaten food. The next day the staff informed me that leftover food was composted. Knowing that there were people nearby who often didn’t get enough food in a day, I asked if the leftovers could be boxed up. The staff had no issue with this, but a waiver needed to be signed as they would not be responsible for food taken from the venue. After confirming that the proper people were available to sign, the food was kept in a refrigerator for the afternoon. I walked away with a large box packed to the brim with leftover food. A staff member at a local shelter received the food gratefully. In the midst of a busy day of work, things like leftover food aren’t at top of mind for most people – they usually aren’t for me. In a study by The Value Chain Management Centre, it was found that in Canada an estimated $27 billion of food is wasted every year. Some food waste is unavoidable, some is not. Consider what will be done with excess food at the next event that you’re planning. Maybe it makes sense to request take-away containers for participants, maybe there’s a shelter, school, or community centre nearby that would appreciate some leftovers. “The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness.” --Maya Angelou
We can do no great things; only small things with great love. --Mother Teresa. I feel fortunate to be able to work with talented people and to be involved in projects that are resulting in positive change. At the same time, I am open to the possibility that there might be something else I could be “called” to do. Are there different ways I could be supporting others, challenging myself and having a bigger impact?
It’s a frustrating feeling – we are in the midst of a conversation with our boss, our co-worker, our partner and it’s going off the rails. We can feel it happening, we want to avert it and yet somehow we just can’t put our finger on why we are butting heads. What do they see that I don’t? Why don’t they see it as I see it? What am I missing?
Anyone who has been on a commercial airplane has heard the familiar message in the emergency procedures briefing: “In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will appear. Put on your own mask first, and then assist others.” As a parent and as someone who generally likes to look out for others, to be asked to look after myself first always strikes me as a bit of a selfish perspective. However, I know it is a legitimate and important step. If I pass out from a loss of oxygen, I will not be able to help anyone else at all, and I will be a burden to others.
What makes people want to work together? If there were a formula, it would be easy to continually create the conditions for smooth-functioning teams and highly efficient meetings. We could collect three people with x trait and two people with y trait, call them a team and – presto bingo – a high functioning group. If only it were so simple.