In the 80s, I spent some time in the middle east travelling – it was the done thing at that time. Staple diet was generally street food consisting of cheap pizza or more often, felafel with salad and humous in a pitta bread. It did the job, gave me sustenance and provided me with the energy to get through the day. The mass produced fry up created memories as the taste was unique to me and memories of that place frequently flood back as I visit street food outlets that seem to becoming more popular in the UK.
If I want to spend more time enjoying nuances of different taste, this generally means taking more time and more likely costing slightly more than a felafel. Each dish has been crafted by a chef, and the experience enhanced by what is in the garden at that time. Time is spent being looked after by a good waiter or waitress creating experiences worthy of memory.
I chose what to put on my lunch table dependant of many factors. Is it to be special, is it a quick sustenance fix, is the location special, is there anything else that I dont know about, what memories do I want to take with me, is it a healthy balance, is it appropriate for what I need right now, do I want to experience something different etc? All of which are fine dependant on what I need at that time.
Sometimes I need to think about a quick snack, at other times I have time to experiment and really discover something special.
This reasoning can be applied to the work and voluntary life that I lead.
My role is to create a lasting experience for the people that I work with on different shaped interventions, by creating a unique blend of learning based on what is relevant for them at that time. The challenge of course, is that sometimes people want a golden bullet to solve all their problems and are not willing to give the time, effort and investment to deliver it. Similar to the expert chef, those that are good in my area, train for years, are not frightened to experiment with new ideas that could stretch and deliver even better output and thrive on delivering that great experience – but this comes with caveats.
My experience in the middle east does not lend me to remember the precise name or location of the street vendors that sold me food – the experience was adequate.
My world – I work with people that I agree to that want to self select to be the best.
My choice – and a great lunch table to be serving and eating at.