Okay, this post won’t be about Peru. More like about my volunteering there. It may feel like a little bit of a preaching, but if you have a while try to stick with me to the punch line of the story. Maybe after all it gonna be worth a dime.
My days in Peru differ from those in my home country Poland practically in every aspect. There are moments though when some little things remind me about the stuff that I used to do not so long time ago. It was that day, when instead of standard drive with a rickety bus on the way to orphanages or the city on sand Pacachutec, we headed to the EVENT that was partially organized by our volunteering organization. Social workers from all over Lima met in one place to listen to some presentations and to have some cakes. You know, standard event stuff. I had this sentimental blast from the past when I saw all the volunteers bustling about the tables improving the food placement, checking the laptop connectivity and making sure pendrives with presentations work fine. Ohhh, how many corpo events have I prepared. Oh how many events have I participated in. After a while the presentations started. I was listening with true interest the presentation of genuine and modest woman who easily engaged the audience. I had a peaceful nap during a boring presentation of other guy with never ending slides and dozen bullet points on each of them. With iritation I watched the guru – sorry, I ment ‘coach’ , who was trying to win the audience by tricks with hands clapping and proper voice moderation on the same time delivering quite trival message. Paulo Coehlo says hello. Sorry, but I just watched to many presentations, to be excited by this kind of tricks.
Most of the younger volunteers tough were pretty much interested in what Slick Rick had to say. When he asked the audience to do an excercise mis companieros sat down in a circle, and me… well, I joined them too. Our job was to draw a circle with pizza shaped slices inside and associate each slice with a positive emotion: joy, empathy, love, confidence, peace, empowerment, enthusiasm… each emotion should carry a value from 1 to 10. With 1 being completely meaningless at your work, and 10 meaning that this emotion basically sets a course of all your actions. Since I already had a marker in my hand I started with an easy one. 8 for confidence. There’s always room for improvement, right? The next slice was love. After less then a second of consideration I marked a big 2 next to it. And in this very moment I felt the familiar (from my recent Callao escapade) tingling feeling of all the eyes looking at my direction. This time the looks did not carry anything else but surprise. “What?! I think we should put 10 in there.” With impressive calmness (10) and yet pretty firm decisiveness (7) twenty year old american girl corrected my mistake. We are not talking about PREVIOUS jobs. Right, I guess I forgot about that detail. For the love of Christ we are having the training for social workers now! Ten years of corporate job left a mark in my life. When you give it a second thought tough, this two points that I gave for love was still pretty darn good score, don’t you think? I never even considered love being present at any work. Ever. Flirt, yes. Affair, yeah. But love…? Wrong address. I tried to explain myself with a bit of embarrassment saying that what I had in mind was of course my previous job. After that most of the looks transformed from surprised to somewhat sympathetic (well, let’s say 4 points in a scale).
Now, I don’t really know how to feel about this story. Is there a place for love in corporate business? Naaaaah… I think that decency, empathy, appreciation is good enough. It’s cool however to know that that there are jobs where you actually put the love on top. How freakin awesome influence does it need to have on all the motivation & ambition struggles? How strongly it affects all the other emotions? You are missing joy in your life? You’re missing peace? Okay, you have love – you gonna make it. I am more than sure that all the parents miss some of positive emotions sometime but if they have 10 on the scale of love, they will make it. I still have very mixed feelings about the coach, but I gotta give it to him that he was able to sown some seeds in the audience. And one of this seeds resulted in this very blog post. Divertirse!