Many times in life, we learn that there are things that define us well beyond our day to day jobs, or our relationships with others. I like to call one of these defining principals our Human Job Description.
In my final year at Yale Divinity School, I was named the Community Life Coordinator. It was a cool job, and it meant I oversaw all of the other clubs and committees, helped with budgets for those groups, planned parties, helped with the daily coffee hour after chapel, and well, got to be a social butterfly. It was an awesome job, and I was really honored to be selected for it. Amy had been the “CLC” the year before me, and in her orientation of the job and it’s duties, she listed one I would never have anticipated. She told me that everyday, she saw it as part of her job to eat lunch with a different group of people in the refectory (dining hall). She said that she saw lunch as a time for gathering, a time to learn about each other and a time to make new bonds.
I remember this seemed very unusual to me. But, for whatever reason, I decided to incorporate it into my “CLC” duties for the next year. And it was amazing. I found myself sharing ideas with all sorts of students, engaging in interesting conversations. I understood why this had been important to Amy; it broke me out of my day to day routine, and it opened up new avenues of discussion for all sorts of people. Even at Divinity School, there are cliques. But, but making a decided effort to spread my horizons beyond my usual friends, I felt myself grow in ways I wouldn’t have guessed possible.
Just a year or so ago, when working with a vendor on a big website build, I was reminded of this. One time on the phone, Kyle (my main contact) told me that his company saw their role as being more than just a group that provided a service. He said that they worked daily to go out of their way to bring peace, happiness, and a personal touch to every client they encountered. He said that he knew that daily business was chaotic and crazy, and that they aimed to be an oasis in the daily grind.
When Kyle said this, I was in awe. What he had said was true, I did feel more at ease working with his company than others. It was refreshing to know that it wasn’t something that “just happened,” but something that his company willingly decided to pursue.
What these two examples make me wonder – what will each of you decide is in your own job description for the time that you are on this planet? What if you decided that you’d eat lunch with different people every day, go out of your way to be kind to others, donate your time or energy to causes that matter to you? What if you started writing your own human “job” description? Sometimes these things just take a little planning and determination, but they can have a huge impact on everyone around you. What can you decide to put in your own job description today?
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