Two smiling faces sat on the other side of a screen halfway around the globe. One “Uncle Books” and another, Josh, beaming back at me. Both fun-loving souls with hearts for education and peace. A question came through, “If you were a plant, which one would you be?” An inquiry that moved the meeting creatively in a direction that had me formulating a response. I was taken back by this excellent, thought-provoking way of connecting.
A coconut tree, I said, a plant that has grown in meaning, for me, over time.
As a child in Hawaii, it was the first tree I climbed, and its husk made for a cool craft to slide down hills in.
Later, I found myself beachside on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with a Sumba warrior, Tinus. He looked up, pointed, and said to me, do you see that patch of trees there? Yes, I replied — that thick spot of coconut trees is my village; that’s where I live.
These brilliant trees represent fellowship because of their expansive presence across densely settled areas. And resource because their application comes in many forms: water, food, thatching, and more. Can you think of three ways you use coconut trees today?
Our connection to nature, people, and plants, in this case, offers much. Their meaningful contribution to our daily lives is often overlooked or at least falls into the subconscious of our minds. But what I learned is that stopping to consider how nature inspires us is crucial.
I didn’t envision an onboarding call taking this path. But maybe that’s what I should expect when an organization supporting childhood literacy in Uganda is on the other line. This small team in Africa uses bundleIQ to ideate, move ideas forward, and transform students’ lives in the region. Stepping back, I acknowledge this particular use case truly embodies our mission. A delightful exchange, two smiling faces, and a compelling narrative inspired by passion and purpose represent the kind of society we aim to create.
The word ubuntu means — I am because you are. The Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” means that a person is a person through other people.
The concept of common humanity, where people come together in support of one another because we are the same, came to mind throughout this experience.
After today, it was clear that no matter the scale, positive thoughts and hard work inspires note-worthy results. Our investment in building bundleIQ helps improve people’s quality of life through this group of educational reformers’ efforts. And our commitment is renewed; we will bring all that we can to propel their career forward. With each new conversation, we learn more and understand how to best guide the ones we serve.
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