This past week my wife and I spent a week in Breckenridge Colorado at a family reunion and then decided to drive to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. On our return trip to Texas we drove through Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Both of our families have ties to farming. The drive reminded us of those ties and the strong work values of farming communities. As we approached central Kansas, we found ourselves in the middle of the wheat harvest season. We drove down many county roads and visited with each other about how interconnected these communities were even today. We then came to the same conclusion. We were seeing an important lesson right before our eyes. A lesson many of us have forgotten or overlook in our world today….
We Need Each Other
Planting and harvest time are critical periods in a farmer’s livelihood. My wife and I both have examples of times when someone in our family was either helped or helped another farmer when they were ill so they could meet planting or harvest times. We then started talking about how interconnected our farmers are to commodity traders in Chicago or New York. You see these traders help the farmers hedge their production and find buyers for there crops in all corners of the globe. At the same time, these farmers provide the wheat, corn, soybeans, cotton, etc. that others toil over to make the food and clothing for all of us. The farmers depend on the blue collar machinists to manufacture and assemble the large tractors and combines that allow for efficient planting, fertilization and harvesting of the crops of their lands. In short, our world is highly interconnected.
When we forget or overlook this interconnectedness, we begin to build silos of self interests. We do this not just on a global basis but also in our workplaces and, in many instances, in our cities and families. Here are just a few examples:
- Can you imagine how poor patient care would be in a hospital with just physicians and no medical staff or nurses?
- How much money would a bank make if it only had credit approvers on staff and no customer service or lending officers?
- What would happen if trains or trucks had nothing to transport?
When you sit still long enough to think about how each of us depend on the others around us, you can begin to see how silly and self-centered we must all look from time to time by those outside of our situations. When we think only of ourselves, we lose touch with reality. Reality is …. we need each other. When we grasp this, we see how serving each others’ needs really helps ourselves in the long run. As in the case of farming, the better the crops and the more abundant the production, the more inventory the traders in Chicago and New York have to trade. The more money the farmers make, the more equipment they can buy. The more work the machinists have, the more funds they have available to buy the food and clothing needed by their families.
Yes, we live in an interconnected world but I hope you will look at just the office or cube next to you. You need the person sitting next to you and they need you. Learn to serve one another and have gratitude for the lesson observed in those “Fly Over States”. The lesson can be used anywhere in the world….. When we think only of our interests, we short change those around us and eventually ourselves. Truly, We Need Each Other! Be a servant first. Your eventual harvest will be abundant and much more gratifying. 🙂
I hope you will share this blog with others in your organization and take time to order “The Corporate Soul Handbook”. It will do your soul good…… Until next time, Peace!