Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Hidden Gist

As soon as he slammed the door, I heard my 12 years old's sigh.  "How was your work at the Food Bank this morning?" I asked.  He replied, "It was ok.  The people were nice."  Well, it sounded more positive than what I expected for a grumpy middle school kid's lament.  But it wasn't the end of his story.  He continued,

"There were too many volunteer kids so there was no station left over for me.  A lady assigned me to pick up garbage around the building for an hour!"  Here we go, the teaching moment. 

"I am so glad you did it without complaining.  I am proud of you," I complimented.  With an unsatisfactory expression, he blurted out,

"Picking up garbage is NOT a food bank's job.  Why did I have to do it?"  I thought that it is a time to talk to him about  KUROKO in the Japanese traditional puppet theater, Bunraku

Kuroko is a staff with black suits who manipulate the puppet in the Bunraku puppet theater.  Their job is never be on the spot light, however it's as essential as a puppet itself.  In other words, the distinctive and historically valuable theater cannot exist without Kuroko, even though nobody notices their existence.  The whole theatrical success of Bunraku depends on Kuroko's thoughtfulness and techniques that require several years of extensive training periods. 

I glanced at his face on the back mirror and said, "I think you were lucky to experience a garbage chore that nobody notices but is so important.   Clean environment is a key to success in any kind of business.  You are learning what and how to look at one collaborative project as a whole.  Something important is always hidden and waiting to be done.  A good leader can find them and model his employees to the degree in which they know how to do it. His actions will motivate his employees and build up mutual respect.  That is the kind of community we enjoy."

At the back mirror, his eyes met mine. He will be thirteen in two weeks.