I was reminded recently of how incredibly fortunate we are here in Canada, and how oblivious I can be to the realities of my colleagues around the world. I was going to blog about the G8/G20 meetings this week, but after last week’s conversation, I think the best message for our world leaders is a lesson from a small team in Guatemala.
It started like a normal week of preparation, meetings, sales and operational activity, etc… when I suddenly slowed down. You see one of the meetings on my agenda was a call that had been scheduled with Sully Fuentes-Ayala de Rojas in Guatemala to speak about progress in the community and the specifics of the most recent order.
Of course I had heard of the volcanic eruption on May 27th, and the resulting ash. I had heard of rain, but honestly, the reality that Tropical Storm Agatha was the cause of flooding, mudslides, road closures, and a sinkhole had definitely not penetrated my psyche.
As Sully and I moved beyond the personal updates in our conversation to speak about the orders, new product information requests, and how great the new samples looked, I found myself feeling hmmm…what is the right word….a strange combination of sheepish, sick, and proud.
Sheepish because in the face of all that was going on in Guatemala, Sully, Rudy, and the entire team are still working diligently to grow employment in this community. Sick because, though I had sent an email, I hadn’t really let the enormity of the circumstances sink in for me until a full week later. And lastly proud, proud of them, proud to be associated with their work, and proud to know that real people like Irma, Raul, Wilma, Cindy, Jorge, Andrea, Lilly, and many others are truly benefiting because of their incredible commitment to them and their communities.
What’s the Lesson?
In the coming weeks the leadership of the world will be gathering in Toronto to address serious global concerns that require collaborative efforts to resolve. I hope they work together at least half as well as Sully, Rudy and the entire team in Guatemala in the face of obstacles. I mean if a volcanic eruption, tropical storm, flooding, mudslides and sinkholes can’t stop you, not much can!!