From the Eyes of the Children
As the students at NELA prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, they shared the things they are thankful for this year. Since family and friends hit the top of the priority lists for almost all the children, we asked what comes next on their thankfulness list. Answers ranged from food on the table, to pets they love, to having a home and a place to sleep. Some students even responded that they were grateful for a good school, teachers, and having talents to offer the world. One student mentioned she was grateful for "God's love that is unconditional."
The thoughtfulness of the answers reflected what feels important to our students, more than something material and temporary. They were grateful for things that also bring with them security, safety, consistency, belonging, and comfort. Don't we all want to have a place where we belong, feel safe, and have things we can count on? Often we take these essentials in life for granted, forgetting how much we should appreciate the meal we are eating, the communities that support us, and the God who created us. It's a great reminder from these young people to be aware of all we have to be thankful for.
Melissa Wisner - Community Communications Coordinator
Who Can We Be?
As a learning organization that seeks to invest in its leaders, we spend a good deal of time reading and thinking about the fundamentals of Servant Leadership, NEAR sciences, and non-toxic approaches to charity. Do we apply what we learn with the specific intent of 'doing with' not 'to' and are we increasing the number of individuals who are able to actively participate in making our company, their communities, and their families better? These are some questions we contemplate.
In Margaret Wheatley's recent book, Who Do We Choose to Be, she speaks to how busyness has become the obstacle to true learning. That it prevents us from taking the time needed to distinguish between that which is real and the clutter of data and reports that make up our virtual reality. It prevents us often from asking and then answering the very questions we pose to ourselves.
As managers and leaders with a mission to serve others, our job is to understand what makes us tick in order to better serve those around us. But, with a perceived lack of time between each task in order to deliver our product to market, we don't do what is fundamentally most important: taking the time to reflect and learn.
As one leader of a host of many in our organization, I believe we have a choice. We can choose to accept this perceived reality and allow 'busyness' to reign over our mission, or we can be intentional and find the time to reflect, then learn and then serve. My challenge to all of us is to find the time.
Roger Bairstow- Director of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility