We are now in our third week in India and I continue to be amazed. Although this blog may sound too idealistic I need to write it as it is connected to my feelings and thoughts and does not come out of a need to impress or favor anyone.
We are 12 people from the corners of the earth, Columbia, China, Finland, France – he still tries to say he’s American, Ireland – the only evidence of anything Irish is that he drinks beer, Denmark, USA – With 2 Indian expats, Spain, Bulgaria and Israel. What I would call a fully international team and definitely worthy of the name Mosaic.
And if you ask whether we are a team I can only say a resounding Yes.
How do 12 people who have never met each other bond so well? Why are they always looking out for each other, showing interest and concern? How do people aged 30 to 55 get along well together with respect for each other? Where else do you see dedication all around you with no-one faulting? None of these points are trivial.
What is the glue that puts these people with such completely different backgrounds together? The only common ground is that we all work for SAP, but even here our activities are so diverse that we do not have a common understanding of each other’s tasks.
My thoughts on some of the reasons follow:
Is it the type of person who applies and really wants to be on Social Sabbatical?
Not everyone is geared to being away for a month, leaving family, friends and business responsibilities, to come to a foreign culture – in all senses of the word, in order to help even if our donation is a drop in the ocean of needs these people have. To experience conditions that may sometimes be challenging and not within our individual comfort zones.
Although the sabbatical is open to thousands only a few hundred apply (luckily for the selection team) – there is a very good reason for this.
Is it that the team here has no Ego? No one believes or tries to show that they are better than the others, there is consideration all round. I have not heard any animosity or even heard anyone raising their voice. Could this last forever -probably not- but even for four weeks this is astounding. Am I blind or ignorant – I don’t think so, but if yes then I am going to just enjoy being blind and ignorant.
We are not all equal, there are very smart people on this team, there are humorous people who can effortlessly cause me to laugh out loud, there are quiet people who get the job done and in their quiet way emanate harmony. There are loners and socialites, there are language and culture barriers but all these seem to mix and create an environment that for me generates a high level of comfort with any member of this group. We sit and chat, share information and ideas on projects, or just share a glass of wine with others on the terrace.
Will this last? What am I not seeing? Do others feel the same way? Where am I missing the point?
For the moment I am not going to concentrate on these questions. I want to and think I can just continue to believe in the people around me.