Love me – Love me not

I’ve been a little flaky with my time lately, double-booking myself right and left. I hate having to choose between two good things but it’s even worse if you’ve already committed to both.

One morning I had booked myself at two conflicting community-building events; one at the office and one in the neighbourhood. At first I thought it was a no-brainer. The office one was just a breakfast party, while the other one was a pow-wow involving the Hamilton Spectator, Mohawk College and Trivaris coming together with social entrepreneurs of all stripes to see what kind of partnerships might be possible to help build stronger communities. All three of these organizations are tremendously generous, industrious and visionary in their conviction that communities start with people, and I love them for it.

You too, on reading this, might conclude that this second opportunity was a goldmine of potential, ripe for idea expression (my forte?), resource tapping, and yes, an ulterior motive to pitch my community blog as a Community Column to the Spec. Until almost the last minute, so did I.

But when I asked myself what these two events had in common, it was the community-building. And when I asked myself what differentiated them, it was the community-building. I have been at the Centre for Social Innovation and with the South Sherman Hub for the same length of time, but because I see the work people daily-ish, my own integration, sense of belonging and commitment has progressed a lot faster and further than with the neighbourhood group where we meet only monthly and with a rather high turnover of attendance.

I realized that at work, there would be people expecting me (since I had sent out the invite, if nothing else) possibly even missing me, whereas at the Hamilton meeting, no one actually even knew me as an individual. As a representative of the hub, they might expect someone, but not me in particular.

So I went to work and we had waffles and eggs and home-made jam and freshly squeezed orange juice and an unbelievable number of people showed up early and everyone kept saying “we have to do this more often!”. I wonder if choosing the CSI Breakfast is one of those things that Philip would call “not a business decision”, meaning, I suppose, not founded on sound business principles. I wonder how common it is and if there really is a payoff to choosing the sound business principles over the  people we love and who love us back? And therein lies the answer to what motivates me; those people.

Maybe it was Seth Godin, or possibly that other guy, who claimed that what we all want most is to be missed. I beg to disagree. If that were true, I’d have gone to the high-potential meeting while enjoying being missed at the low-stakes breakfast.

I think what we all want most is to be wanted.