We are ALL VOLUNTEERS
In the most recent monthly meeting with our team in Guatemala, we spent a portion of our time together exploring ideas from Seth Godin's latest book, The Song of Significance.
One of the key points I chose to emphasize was the idea that we are all volunteers. Volunteers, not in the sense that our team consists of unpaid workers (it does not), rather volunteers in the sense that each team member has other options.
Previously, when describing my role within our organization, I have often pointedly included the fact that I am in Guatemala on a "volunteer basis." Upon further reflection, that would seem to be a bit of a half truth. True, I do not receive a salary in Guatemala. However, somewhat deceptive in the manner that my status as a "volunteer" is typically contrasted with the status of other paid team members- with the obvious inference being that team members who are financially compensated are in some way less distinguished or noble. If I'm honest with myself, my volunteer badge has often (always?) been worn with a degree of hubris.
The more complete truth is that we are ALL investing our time and energy, our lives, in working towards a shared vision of providing a preferential option of world-class healthcare to our neighbors in rural Guatemala. It is a choice. We have opted in. We have each declined- explicitly and implicitly- other opportunities. We have chosen, and continue to choose, ENROLLMENT in this journey. Thus, the only logical conclusion would seem to be that we, as a team working in collaborative synergy, should therefore pursue this significant work with as much courage, creativity, and love as we can muster.
As Godin states on multiple occasions:
LET'S GET REAL OR LET'S NOT PLAY.