So we’re in meetings with my biggest client yesterday, going over results for the year, and looking at new strategies for the coming one.
I am the most junior person in the room. For the most part, I am happily taking notes and munching alternately on snickerdoodles and cheese n’ crackers. I’ve been nervous all day leading up to the meeting, and am happy to finally put faces on some of the folks I’ve been working with for about five months.
Then, the president of the organization, a man I’ve never met before but one I like intuitively, asks this question: “What do you think of this whole Bill Gates / Bone-oh thing? What’s happening there?”
One of the guys from my company at the table had a quick comment, but the president saw the interest sparking on my face. He said, “I want to hear from you. What’s this thing all about?”
All of a sudden, I have something to say. I sound off about the One campaign, about its objectives, about the G8 summit last year, about how much of my generation genuinely cares about global poverty and disease, dashing many of the predictions that we’d be narcissistic and apathetic about world issues. That I think the response goes deeper than it being the currently-en-vogue thing to do because Bono’s speaking up and Brad Pitt went to Africa. The world is connected in a way it never was before. We have access to information in ways we never did before… we see suffering with our own eyes.
I talk about how much of the word for One spread through email, through friends telling friends, and how some of it was as simple as wearing a bracelet. How people really will give to something they believe in, but only if they hear about it, only if you find a way to reach them on their turf. For folks around my age, the web is most often our medium, and if a group can figure out a way to tap that, they’re golden.
I spoke clearly, but could feel myself turning beet red at suddenly having to throw my own two cents out there. There is something about a board room full of people older than you and much smarter than you that is quite intimidating. All of a sudden the room felt like the temp was around 88 degrees.
His next question, I’m not kidding: “Do you blog?” This discussion lasted about a half hour.
I never ever thought that my admiration/slight obsession with Bono and his work (in addition to his music) and my passion for blogging, of all things, would make me an expert voice in the room, even for a few minutes.
It was wicked fun.
On a wholly other note, I am really excited. There is a potential opportunity for me to be able to travel with a group my client is sending down to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, one of the hardest-hit areas in the wake of Katrina (CityTeam has been serving there since right after the storm, and has remained there and in another hard-hit location this entire time, staying long after the Red Cross pulled up stakes and moved on. Check out their site, the pics from down there are amazing). Things are still awful down there, and there is still a huge need for relief work. I’d go in April. They’ll take me, I’d just have to figure out the whole time-off-work thing. It just might happen, and the thought of being able to actually see these faces and the devastation around them, and actually being able to tangibly serve these people and minister to them… man. It gets my heart beating pretty quick. (You want to talk about bloggable experiences…) Please pray with me that God will open this door.
Okay, off to another day of meetings. It stormed here all night long and the wind blowing through the huge trees around my place kept me awake… hopefully I’ll be able to mask the yawns without being too terribly obvious.
PS! I probably won’t have to work til 9 pm tonight! Score!
Enjoy the day.