Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Can We Change the World if You Won’t Look Me in the Eye?

I was in Ottawa a while back, to visit my daughter, who is in the Masters English program at the University of Ottawa, and she encouraged me to attend a “slam poetry competition” with her.

If you know me, you would know that I am about as likely to be at a slam poetry competition as I am to be found walking on the moon.

That said, you would also know that I have often attended events like this, at the urging of my daughter, because she is a very thoughtful young woman who believes in experiencing as much of life as possible.

Through her, I have experienced many things that I might otherwise not have been as open to, and I have always left a better person than when I arrived, as was the case when I did indeed attend the slam poetry competition.

There was a young man there whose poem was based upon the premise of the question; how can we change the world if you won’t look me in the eye?

It was a very powerful poem that reinforced that our expectations of ending wars and other lesser conflicts are in fact somewhat naive when we consider that we can’t even look each other in the eye.

It’s a simple concept, but it is so true.

Coincidently, a short time later, I attended a training program where one of the exercises was to stand, face to face, with a stranger, and look them in the eye for 5 minutes.

I cannot tell you how many people in the program had difficulty with this exercise, even though by the time we did it, we had spent several hours together, so we weren’t really strangers anymore.

Nonetheless, people had a tough time of it, but once completed, everyone was equally as moved by what they had experienced, myself included, and I would count myself as someone who does look people in the eye, and did so long before this.

Regardless though, it has stayed with me since then, and I have been keenly aware, as I have walked around my city, attended meetings, crammed myself into an elevator with many others, of just how little eye contact goes on in a given day.

It’s sad really, but with the advancement of technology and the prolific use of things like the iPod, people are completely withdrawn from each other, and from the rest of the world that surrounds them.

It does beg the question; how can we change the world if you won’t look me in the eye?

Hotels, I’ll give you, are an exception to this situation, thankfully.

Clearly, someone figured this one out a long time ago and it has been a part of our commitment to service since Hotels first began to spring up, all over the world, a cornerstone with which our service training has built upon.

I could be wrong, but I think Hotel people, people who have chosen the hospitality industry as their chosen profession, are up to great things.

These are people, who, at their core, care about other people, so who better to take up the cause.

Ghandi said; “be the change that you want to see in the world.”

So here’s my challenge to you: take your commitment to people and spread it beyond the four walls of your Hotel, be the change that you want to see in the world and inspire others through your actions. 

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1 comment:

  1. Totally inspired post!! Love this Dale, you are awesome!