Imagine, if you will, that everyone in the world wore glasses. What if instead of getting a new prescription, you could get a new perspective? What if the goal was not to see better, but rather to see differently? What would your world look like?
I recently went on a business trip to meet with a company doing similar work to Luck Companies in the realm of values and leadership but in a completely different industry. This particular company primarily focuses on student housing and development. They are also working to have a global impact. In their efforts to balance mission and margin, they send their associates to Africa for ten days as part of their development plan. During those ten days, associates help stand up dorms and student housing for children in need. They also help in the classroom with teaching and granting scholarships for students who cannot afford a formal education. Reportedly, this development plan has received rave reviews. Associates come back with an ability to see the impact that they can individually have, as well as the lives they can touch in underdeveloped communities. Some folks come back with even more… a new perspective. The ten days are like a great awakening. Associates come back so grateful for the life they live. You can see it in them at work too. They were so welcoming and clearly happy and proud to work where they do. I was so blown away that this company took the time to provide that opportunity- for both the associates and communities alike.
It’s easy to take our lives here, in this consumer driven society, for granted. We are all striving for that American dream of prosperity. We work for bigger houses, faster cars, tastier food, stronger careers, deeper educations, etc. I cannot lie – I am definitely guilty of it myself. I wondered…what if home was on the gym floor of a poorly funded school? What if food was not a commodity but a scarcity? What if my job was literally just to survive? While it is very rewarding, sometimes I feel like my life is challenging. To someone who does not have the opportunities I have had, my life is one of privilege. Talk about a different perspective.
I realize not every company wants to or can send their associates to Africa to help “change their glasses” and unveil the beauty of life. So then I wonder, as an alternative, what if we changed our own glasses and consciously chose to see things from a different perspective. As a small example, let’s say everyone chose to eat to a point that they weren’t hungry anymore rather than eating until they were stuffed. Think about that. Imagine the impact we could have if everyone had that perspective. What if we really could counter world hunger? What if the cure started with you?
Depending on your perspective, this life we live is truly full of opportunity and marvel. Which glasses are you wearing?