The Servant Leadership Program held a unique, penultimate meeting at the local food co-op on Monday, April 22 with Chris Johnson and former SLP member, Benjamin Batz. For many of us, it was our first time being in that space and, upon entrance, we noted the fresh aroma instantly greeting us as we stepped foot into building.
During our time in this shared space, Ben walked us through the history of the food co-op, its special place in the community and the co-op’s philosophy. We had the wonderful opportunity to indulge and practice mindful eating with Newman-O’s organic cookies dipped with creamy, fresh Cedar Summit Farm milk. This gave us a chance to compare the mass-produced Kemp’s dairy products with that of the locally produced and trusted organic milk. Ben explained to us the length that Cedar Summit Farm went in order to gain organic status and how important it is for them to produce quality milk packaged in glass bottles (to be environmentally friendly). We also practiced mindful eating with equal exchange bananas.
Eventually, we all had a chance to walk around and be in awe of the wonderful food and produce—there were a wide array of things to marvel at! You could make your own peanut butter, gaze in delicious wonder at the baked goods, or survey the available organic hygienic products, such as soap and beauty supplies!
For the next portion of the night, Chris Johnson spoke about the many questions we are faced with in life. Though it was a wintry, snow-ridden evening, we engaged in lively discussion about the reading and what it meant to answer the various forms of ‘how?’ in our life’s endeavors (i.e. How long will it take? How long will it cost?). There were points made about how oftentimes, when we ask ‘how?’ we create limitations for ourselves, and ultimately set ourselves up for failure in the end. Chris challenged us to ask ourselves: ‘Does it really matter if we can, and if we should answer these questions?’ Sometimes we get so wrapped up in answering ‘how?’, that we don’t realize the simple answer is ‘yes’.
Which brings us to our next question: “What is your ‘yes’?”
At this point, the SLPers watch a video entitled, “Everything is Incredible”. In this movie, we are faced with the question of what it means to fly. In the film, we are introduced to an elderly man who has devoted his whole life to building a helicopter. Without asking himself ‘how’, he starts at a very young age in his aspirations to bring to fruition his dream of building and piloting his very own helicopter. Throughout this piece, we see various people—kids, teens and adults alike—stating and restating the impossibility of his task. In his endeavor, these people see obstacles that cannot be overcome, limits that cannot be breached, and a dream that cannot be realized. We see many people doubting this elderly man, asking how long it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost him to do so.
However, there is also a certain sect of individuals who have absolute faith in him. They don’t ask him ‘how’ he is going to do it, they accept ‘yes’ as the answer. We realize that in all this negativity, it is the hope of the optimists and the faithful that push us forward. After this touching film, we viewed an “Improv Everywhere” video in which complete strangers ‘say something nice’ into a megaphone. In relation to the last film, this shows that positivity can push us forward and instill an environment of love and care whereas there is nothing good that comes out of hurtful words.
We must be cognizant when we ask the question of ‘how?’—when we ask ‘how,’ we invoke limitations upon ourselves. The challenge shouldn’t be how; instead, the challenge should focus on possibility. We must realize that we have, at the ends of our fingertips, an infinite world of possibility, and we cannot let the fear of failure stop us from the attempt.
“The problem is that everything is incredible but people don’t accept it.”