LAST Christmas, our good neighbor Bo Sanchez, a well-known author, podcaster, entrepreneur and missionary, gave us the gift of his latest inspirational book, This and That: Tiny Choices to Uncomplicate Your Life.
The 200-page, 31-chapter book is packed with stories about making life’s simple choices, along with food for thought and actionable tips. I adapted four stories from this that I thought I would share with associations:
1. The horse and the donkey – selfishness or unselfishness. A horse and a donkey were best friends. One day they were kidnapped by a group of bandits to carry their stolen loot. The gang put all the load on the donkey to carry while not putting anything on the horse.
When the donkey asked his horse friend for help, the selfish horse argued that he could only carry people. In short, the donkey died of exhaustion before reaching the goal. So the bandits put all the stuff on the horse, which ended up dying too. In its last moment, the horse thought that if only it had been selfless and shared the burden with its donkey friend, both could have survived the ordeal.
Reflection for an association: “What selfless act have you done for your members, colleagues, others lately?”
2. The Chicken and the Eagle – Fly or Soar. A chicken and an eagle reacted differently to an impending storm. The chicken flapped its wings and, afraid of dying from strong winds, looked for a place to hide while the eagle stood on the edge of the cliff where its nest was, waiting for the wind.
The eagle then spread its wings and waited for the wind to propel it up and forward. No, the eagle did not fly; it floated with the wind and soared!
Association Reflection: “What storm are you facing right now and how can you fly through it like an eagle?”
3. Exchange of marbles and candies – partial or 100 percent. Two small children, a boy and a girl, were playing. The boy had a collection of marbles; the girl, sweets. The boy offered to trade all of his marbles for all of their candy. The girl agreed.
The boy gave the girl all his marbles except the biggest and best, which he secretly didn’t tell the girl. The girl was so happy but the boy couldn’t sleep at night and kept thinking that the girl was probably depriving him of her biggest and best candy too.
Reflection for an association: “What is your commitment to your members and how do you fulfill this commitment?”
4. The King and the Criminal – Certainty or fear of the unknown. A person who committed a crime was caught and brought to the king. The king gave him two choices: death by hanging or being put through a dark, eerie, mysterious iron door. The criminal immediately chose death by hanging. Before the execution, he asked the king what was behind the mysterious door. The king told him it was freedom!
Reflection for an association: “What fear prevents you from doing the best for your organization or its members?”
Octavio Peralta is currently Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Philippines and Founder and Honorary CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives, the Association of Associations. Email: email@example.com.