Crying? Me? Why do you ask? These red and swollen eyes? Just allergies. Honestly! Well, ok…truth be told, I’ve been balling like a baby. We just finished The Good Place on Netflix and I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime while watching this show. Simply put, it is brilliant. I laughed, I cried, I learned a lot about ethics. One of the reasons I think it has impacted me so much (through the great writing/acting/storytelling) is the message it carried around the importance of being in service to others. 

Don’t worry, no spoilers here if you haven’t seen it yet. (If not, add it to your “My List” now and make sure you have lots of tissues nearby for the final few episodes in season 4). Created by the very talented Micheal Schur (from Parks & Rec and Brooklyn 99) it is a witty and insightful reflection on life, death and what it means to be human. Schur and his engaging cast of actors remind us how needy, troublesome and how outright maddening humans can be. At the same time, and in very clever ways, they show us the potential we all hold to be better, not just for ourselves but for those around us.

Simultaneously to been bingeing on The Good Place, I have started our Four Simple Word Dialogues. These are 1:1 conversations I am having with smart and insightful people on the next steps on my Four Simple Words learning journey. I bring the idea of service to the conversation and my guest brings a topic they are passionate about. Over the course of an hour, we have an engaging, thoughtful and often hilarious chat that starts here and ends up waaaayyyy over there! So far we have talked about the power of privilege, how politics can be a tool for good, how co-ops have service built into their DNA, the word service as it relates to program delivery, building connections, parenting, social justice and the importance — and benefits — of valuing everyone. Without exception, each conversation has been an emotional connection for me to learn and reflect on what it means to be human. Do you have a topic you are passionate about and want to think about with me? Book your Dialogue here.

These Dialogues have been profoundly moving for me. I am humbled by the sharing and thoughtfulness my guests bring to these sessions and how they are radically reshaping my thoughts and perceptions around ‘service’. What I thought was going to be an easy series of conversations about a straightforward word has exploded into deep dives around self care, connection, gratitude and our innate sense of wanting to help. I have laughed, cried, and learned a lot about the power of human connection. 

Between the ending of the Good Place and starting these Dialogues, I am feeling blessed, humbled and very, well, human. The show and my Dialogues are creating spaces of enquiry, vulnerability and potential. What does it mean to be human? Give me a little more time on that one. That said, I am doubling down on my belief that ‘being in service to others’ is a powerful concept that is good for each of us and those we are in connection with. We are each on a journey toward A Good Place (wherever that may be!) and through good and bad times serving others is the fuel that will get us there.

Now if you will excuse me, I just need to find that kleenex box again. The pollen seems to be exceptionally bad today…

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