Caring, Connecting, and Collaborating One Question of the Day at a Time

Caring, Connecting, and Collaborating One Question of the Day at a Time

Posted on September 10, 2021 by Connor LaGrange, TPF Fellow 2021/23
What is your favorite Olympic sport? What book brings back wonderful memories from your childhood? Where is the best place in Sarasota to eat? All of these questions are seemingly mundane and questions you may even find yourself answering on a first date or an ice-breaker in freshman orientation. But what if they had a deeper meaning? What if each question had an ulterior motive (and a motive that was incredibly good)?

Each day at The Patterson Foundation, we have the chance to ask big questions and dream big dreams. We get to say things such as, “What is possible?” or “How can we achieve thrivability in our communities?” However, one of the most important questions we ask at TPF is, “Who else cares?”

On any given issue, there is seemingly a wide array of people passionate about creating change. But, change only happens at the speed of trust, and you cannot trust someone you don’t know.

TPF uses a very simple yet unbelievably effective approach to getting to know your co-creators.

A question of the day.

Let us jump back to our favorite Olympic sport. Learning someone loves skateboarding or handball may give you the space to come together and learn about the human beings with whom we create. By learning seemingly trivial things about one another, we can begin building connective tissue, which can oftentimes be the basis of creating full-scale change in our communities. When we can learn these little tidbits about our community members, it allows us to become more in touch with our empathy antennas. When we empathetically build connective tissue with other people who care, the possibilities to create change become endless.

There were times in our pre-pandemic lives where maybe we walked into work, sat at our desks, ground out our daily tasks, left, and not once had any interaction with our teammates. This isolation does not foster wide participation or creative solutions, especially in the trying times we have all found ourselves in over the last year and a half.

Learning your fellow community member is a bigger fan of chocolate ice cream or enjoys jazz music over country may wind up creating better outcomes.

Life has a way of being complex, confusing, and convoluted. By taking the simple step of willingly engaging in the lives of those around us, we can begin building enormous amounts of trust. And in turn, enormous amounts of change.

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