This year’s blogs have seemed to be a series of confessions. Perhaps I am getting more comfortable with myself and can “let it all hang out”, as they say.
So, today’s confession is that I love Chipotle. I actually love it a little too much. OK. Pure honesty? I have a serious issue. I probably eat it at least once a week—maybe three times on a super stressful week. I don’t know what is in their guacamole, but I just can’t get enough.
Chipotle has started a fun campaign where on its bags and cups they print an essay from a famous author or playwright. Yesterday, one caught my eye by George Saunders. Writing to the future he says, “Hope that, in future, all is well, everyone eats free, not one must work, all just sit around feeling love for one another.” Although this quote is poetic, he entirely misses the point. Here at Compass, work is not a burden that we hope to be taken from us—it’s an expression of our compassion. If people at Compass did not put that love into action, it would be quite meaningless to our clients and altogether harmful. Warm feelings are not enough.
Recently, we lost one of the dearest among us. Jimmy departed this earth and left us all better off for knowing him. Although this was a deeply difficult season for the team, I was so touched by their love. Many people gathered by his bedside before he died, and one former staff even drove down from Oregon to say goodbye. Once he passed, staff from all over the world posted tributes and shared stories of him. On the last day of his life, his ‘white family’ as his team of staff like to be called, gathered to show love. They had to work. Jimmy lay in his bed with many needs, so they served his needs. Each act of work was demonstrating love, compassion and connection. They worked around the clock to love Jimmy well.
So, Mr. Saunders, I do not have the same hope for the future. We love through our work, not in spite of it. Jimmy gave us the chance to love him; in return we all learned and gained something from him. I hope for a world where we can serve each other in love. I also hope people who love through work would be the rule not the exception.
We do agree on a few things, though. I hope all is well in the future. Also, I would, of course, take the free meal–especially if it is Chipotle.