In their book “When Helping Hurts”, Corbett and Fikkert talk about how different cultures view time. In Canada and the United States, time is viewed as finite resource. Every moment must be used or it is lost forever. To do lists are essential. Time management is a desirable skill. I am at the extreme end of the spectrum. In many other cultures time is viewed as much more elastic. Plans are guidelines only. If something more important comes along, like a friend or an interesting conversation, well the there is always tomorrow to finish up the tasks.
Yesterday at the Food Bank, the rush was over by 10:30. Lunch was not until 12:30. How should I best use the two hours? Go into the office and do some paperwork? Meet one on one with the staff to plan future programs? I found myself sitting with a community member listening to her humorous “tales of woe” as she described them. To just sit there and listen and ask amplifying questions was not a good use of time. Or was it?
Participating in Oasis is an enormous culture shift for this driven, hyper-efficient, disciplined professional.