“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa
We live in interesting times. The “sharing economy“, where companies like Uber and Airbnb exist and thrive, makes me wonder: is it really sharing? If I pay for it, that’s a transaction for a service or a product or an experience. It doesn’t feel like I’m sharing at all. Or am I?
With the Thanksgiving holiday being celebrated in the United States this week, let’s discuss what it really means to share with someone else. Hint: no money has to change hands.
In Good Times
“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” – Jack London
We all have so much to be thankful for in our professional and personal lives. None of us has everything we want, but most of us have everything we need. When you are feeling thankful for something positive that happens at work, why is that? Did the feeling come from something you did for others, or something someone else did for you?
For me, many times it is because of a gracious act someone else did for me. That time when someone made copies of a presentation for me, so I could set up the meeting space; the colleague who listened, just listened; the manager who created a safe space for innovation, where we learned to ‘fail fast.’
In Bad Times
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” – Mr. Rogers
Life isn’t easy. Some days it feels like it was intentionally designed to be difficult! Every person, every email, every call, every meeting, every stoplight! As you put shoulder to the grindstone for another day of public service, who are your ‘go to’ people, your helpers? The one person what knows Excel and can explain it to you; the colleague that offers to facilitate a meeting so you can be at your child’s school event; the manager who fills in for you while you’re away on vacation, not letting the work pile up and waiting for your return. We all have a few ‘go to’ people to b e thankful for: our own set of helpers.
Be a Helper
“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.”– Mr. Rogers
As you enjoy the holiday season and prepare for the next calendar year, how might you help more? When we take the time to care about the co-worker on our left, the co-worker on our right, and the one we see in the hallway (but curiously have not asked them their name?), we start to create a culture of helping, of sharing. Being a helper, really sharing in good times and in bad times, is a real “sharing economy.”
I am Thankful
I am thankful for the opportunity to freely express my view here on GovLoop. and for my family, my co-workers, and the opportunity to serve Minnesotans every day. What are you thankful for?