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Yes I’m back.
No it wasn’t a holiday.
And neither will my trip to Mongolia tomorrow – so deal with it.
Before I start, the A[P]SOTW assignment will be up very soon, almost finished it – just need to finalise a couple of things.
OK, so as it’s Monday, what better way to start the week with a story about death.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a hospital who granted a terminally ill man his dying wish of seeing his loved one before he died.
That might not sound unusual until I point out that his loved one was his Shire Horse, Ben.
Thomas Thorpe – 74 – had been diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year.
He was a well known figure around Chesterfield, because he was a market stall holder, but on top of that, he was – along with his horse – the ‘unofficial’ greeters of visitors to the city.
Anyway, when Thomas realised the end was near, he enquired whether it would be possible to see his horse so he could say goodbye.
Rita Snowdon – Ward manager at Clay Cross hospital – negotiated with the relevant parties and amazingly made it happen – meaning there was a positive end to a very sad situation for Thomas, his family & his horse.
I think this is beautiful and fantastic.
Putting aside the fact the hospital found a way to make it happen – which is mighty impressive when you consider all the health, safety & economic red tape they have to live by – the real point is that they wanted to make it happen.
Everyone thinks they live busy lives.
We are constantly trying to balance all the things we have to do with all the things we want to do – which often means we view any additional requirement as an obstacle we’d rather avoid.
It’s bad enough when it’s something that relates to our lives, but when it’s for someone you don’t really know, it’s a mine field.
How sad is that?
I think it’s tragic.
The reality is that as busy as our lives are, they’re not that busy.
If you have time to go on Facebook, talk to your friends, write a blog – it’s not filled to bursting point is it.
And yet that is how we act and behave.
As if one more thing is simply impossible.
It seems we have forgotten what life is about.
It appears we have become a society based almost exclusively on selfishness.
Of course not everyone is like this – both my wife and my Mum are, if anything, too generous – but the fact I was genuinely moved by a story of generosity and compassion highlights how it is becoming part of the exception, rather than the rule.
It’s bad enough that companies act this way, but the fact society does is of even greater concern.
We are a better planet when we occasionally put ourselves second.
I don’t mean just for our family, friends and loved ones, but for individuals we might not know well or at all.
I love what Rita Snowden did for Thomas and his family.
By going out of her way, she has ensured there is a sense of peace in relation to Thomas’ passing.
But she’s done more than that …
She’s reminded us – as Barry Schwartz gave a great Ted Talk about – that simple acts of kindness go along way.
Affecting far more than just the recipient, but the family, community and – in this case – a person living in China.
I could end this post by saying this is an opportunity for brands.
I could end this post by highlighting that a brand could use their marketing money & drive good for more than just their shareholders.
I could end this post by suggesting that I believe this approach would actually encourage more people to favor their brand than their traditional approach.
But the sad thing is there’s very few brands who want to lead change, they just want to follow it [which makes a complete mockery out of planning & planners if you think about it] so if we want to encourage corporations to use their massive resources to help the wider community – not just their customers – we have to lead by example of which Rita Snowden is a great role model.
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