Easily Overlooked…

It was the Spring of 1983… and I was so proud of myself.

James Bond had nothing on me.

The building was already crowded with people outside and chatting to each other – oblivious to the April Chicago winds blowing with force – which to be honest, are what others anywhere else would consider January winds.

But I couldn’t contain myself..

I had to show how smart I was …

So I showed one of my older sisters the single white earpiece in my ear and the boxy yellow Walkman radio contraption it was connected to.

The radio station playing in my ear was 720 AM – WGN.

The Chicago Cubs were playing an away game in the evening somewhere.

And that was going to be my escape from the Holy Thursday 3-hour marathon we were about to endure in the Greek Orthodox Church which somehow, that evening, had no fire safety or crowd protocols to speak of.

And then my sister ratted me out.

And the radio and ear piece – somewhat forcefully – was taken off me by my mother and I had to listen to the ancient Greek chants which I could not understand.

The service would be 90% in old Greek and it was torture. I couldn’t understand a word. And I had to stand … then sit…. Then stand….. then sit.. and so on and so on…

Now it’s 2023 – and I can’t wait for Holy Thursday evening services.

It’s one of my favourites.

I’m here in Dubai so the church service will mostly be in Arabic, with some Greek and a slight touch of English included. I do not speak Arabic, but it doesn’t matter, because I can follow along with the English translation in my phone app of every line of the service.

Now the words come to life, the images, the emptions of the evening, the pain of betrayal.. so vivid that even though I know the story it still feels raw and powerful.

So what changed?
Context.

In 2023 I can understand the context of each hymn and reading. The why I’m there and so the hours and the standing and sitting are not annoyances but key aspects that will make the evening “a success.”

And context is what is often missing in our businesses. Do we know the context of why our customers came to us in the first place?

Do our employees know the context why they are asked to do something a certain way?

Ultimately do we understand the context of why we are in business in the first place and what we hope to accomplish to justify our sacrifices and hours?

Feel free to message me and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear the context of why and what you do.

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