I recently read a story of a family whose garden had six strawberry plants, but only one strawberry was produced. They carefully nurtured the lone strawberry and protected it from birds and other animals. When, at last, harvest day came, the family of four celebrated by slicing the fruit and savoring their bite together. From that event, each came away with a lifelong, personal message that things taste better when shared with others.
As I think back on times of togetherness, meals do indeed taste better when shared with others. Thanksgiving Holiday meals, with family, especially come to mind. Another such shared meal occurs when I return from business travel. At this time, one of the treats I look forward to is the tradition that my wife and I have of eating a welcome home meal together. During this simple celebration, we share what has happened in both of our lives during our time of separation. Truly, things taste better when shared with others.
There is another kind of sharing that we in our profession enjoy; how we have improved the safety culture of those with whom we interact. As I consider the downstream indicators that continue to improve, there is a warm satisfaction derived from sharing the gift of a better life with those we are impacting. Sharing our talents delivers a personal “taste” that is better when we make a positive difference with others.
While living a part of this profession that makes a difference to others, there is at least one other sharing that leaves a personal “taste” that is very satisfying. That “taste” deals with the development of lasting relationships that continue to bear a personal fruit of enjoyment for years to come. Our safety profession gives us a chance to plant the seeds that grow into friendships that don’t wilt or fade away. Rather, they spring to new life at each meeting. However, this kind of enjoyable, lasting fruit requires continual genuine engagement and caring for the realities of others.
How is your relational garden doing? The long lasting enjoyment available to you depends on your farming skills with others.