CollaborationToday’s Word: ‘Collaboration’ as in… when everyone gives a little, big changes happen.

The plane backed away from the gate, taxied to the far corner of the airfield, and then stopped. If you’ve ever been on a flight that taxied to a far corner and then stopped, you know disappointment. The pilot then made this announcement:

“Well folks, I have bad news and some really bad news. There’s a storm coming and Denver is shut down. We’ve looked for alternatives, but there aren’t any. So we’ll be sitting tight until things open up. That’s the bad news. The really bad news is that we don’t have any food on board and we can’t return to the gate. We’ll see what we can do. I’m so sorry!”

Everyone groaned. Some passengers started to complain, some became angry.

But then, one of the flight attendants made this announcement:

“Hey everyone, we’re so sorry about this. For many of you this is a big deal. There are those on board who haven’t eaten in a while, others may have a medical condition and food would help. Some may not care one way or the other. So here’s what we can do together. We’re going to pass some baskets through the cabin and ask everybody to offer something. Perhaps you’ve brought some cookies, crackers, chips, or some fruit. If you don’t have anything edible, you may have something that might cheer someone else up a bit: a good book, a small toy, a collection of paper clips—something that you wouldn’t mind parting with. We’ll then we’ll pass the baskets around again and everybody can take out what they need.”

What happened next was amazing. The griping stopped. People dug in their pockets, opened backpacks and suitcases and produced all kinds of surprises. People were laughing and talking.

Everything changed!

The flight attendant transformed a group of people who were focused on need and deprivation into a community of sharing and celebration. Everything changes when people consider the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

When everyone gives a little, big changes happen.


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