#7 December Reflection: At the Foot of a Mountain

As the December retreat comes to an end, I look back on these two days of learning and collaboration. What has stood out to me?  Thinking about the psychological safety of our team, or any team for that matter, I firmly believe in the importance of being able to make mistakes and create the environment where that feels comfortable. One thing I have been thinking about a lot is the importance of things as simple as a smile. Small actions of kindness have the ability to make an environment feel like a safe place to take the risks which are so necessary for learning.

Within my group, one thing we did was identifying the conflict within our issue. It isn’t a black and white conflict like “one group opposes food waste and insecurity and another is for it.” Instead, it is the idea of doing what is right vs. convenience. But while watching the TED Talk it clicked for me that there to things do not have to be in opposition. ”For or against is the mind’s greatest disease.” Why can’t doing putting leftover food in the right hands be one of the most, if not the most, convenient options? There are examples of where this is already happening, where getting food waste into the right hands is easy. One of these examples is Salvation Farms. With the help of volunteers, they are able to pick edible crops that have not been harvester (for reasons such as cosmetic blemishes) and bring these fruits and vegetables to food shelves. Or take the Lamoille Community Food Share’s relationship with the local Hannaford’s. When the supermarket had food which was past its sell by date, it was often still entirely suitable for human consumption, yet they would just compost it. Now, they are working in partnership with the local food share to get that food to people in need. All the Hannaford’s needs to do is package the food and the food share does the rest. It is so exciting to see that the marriage between the “for” and “against” exists and it’s working!

Looking forward into this next month, we have a lot of work to do. Between reaching out to our potential interviewees, conducting interviews and doing this all with a group that is a two hour drive from me feels as though I am at the foot of a mountain. But I think if we continue to collaborate and communicate we will be able to climb it. My jobs in the near future are to continue reaching out to people in pursuit of interviews. I also would like to have a conversation with my group about the specific questions are we going to ask our interviewees in order to get what we want out of the interview.


Featured Image: Drregor (Flickr)

Aidan Lodge

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