After years of study and really important work in intercultural communication, I’ve been asked to contribute in an extremely significant way to the grand opening for I Grow Chicago’s Peace House*, a really important organization doing great work in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
What am I doing? Strategy? No, even bigger. Event planning? No. Getting the President lined up to attend? No.
I am making the over-sized tin-foil covered cardboard scissors for the photo-op during the ribbon cutting.
What’s most pride inspiring by this is that I was asked to do this because I Grow’s Executive Director Tameka Lawson had remembered that four years ago my son and I made scissors on the spot out of cardboard for the opening of a nearby school. Those clearly were some memorable scissors!
It’s funny the things that we are remembered or known for by others (I’m also famous for creating original, themed, jeopardy games). But it’s also good to remember, just as the custodian sweeping the parking lot at NASA told President Kennedy “I’m sending a man to the moon, Mr. President,” we need to do what we needs to be done, and if this is helpful, no matter how small a detail, if it needs to be done then it’s important to do.
I’ve been following and being inspired by Chris Brogan quite a bit lately and he talks a lot about being helpful and serving others first. At a time where social media gives us the ability to write and position oneself as important or an expert on a lot of stages, it’s nice sometimes to remember that what is most helpful is not what we think someone needs but what someone else tells us they need.
The lesson for intercultural communications is the same. The ‘old’ golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The new, intercultural version is to do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
*I Grow Chicago Peace House Grand Opening is Saturday, April 26, at 5:30 pm.
I Grow Chicago’s mission is to provide a safe, inter-generational haven to children and at-risk community members. Through sustainable farming and educational programs in nutrition, movement yoga, and the arts, we foster creativity, wellness and empowerment for individuals in the community as a whole. I Grow Chicago is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization formed for exclusively charitable and educational purposes.
The I Grow Chicago Peace House is an intergenerational community driven site, intended to serve and support our neighbors. We offer free programming including yoga, meditation, mentoring, gardening and services to support varying needs in the Englewood community. The Peace House is currently in construction, so during summer and fall months, we hold our events and activities outside until the house is finished.