Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Loaves & Gandhi


In his column two weeks ago Marcos Breton compared Loaves & Fishes' Executive Director, Sister Libby Fernandez, and Director of Advocacy, Joan Burke, with Mahatma Gandhi, writing, "These two ladies have triggered a standoff [re tent city] by evoking Mahatma Gandhi bringing the British Empire to its knees. They are righteous, humble servants living the word of God."
Now, if we were to take Gandhi's message regarding Customer Service, above [which he uttered in 1890], and merely substitute Libby and Joan as advocates of this service policy, and use "guest" in place of where Gandhi said "customer" -- since L&F insists on calling its denizens "guests" -- and, what the hell, let's Americanize the spelling of "favour," making it "favor," and not leave things male-specific, by using "they," instead of "he." And we should call L&F an organization, instead of a business. Can you imagine such beatitudinousness, so grand a welling up of kindness, in the way Loaves & Fishes would be run?

Guests are the most important visitors on our premises. They are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them. They are not an interruption of our work. They are the purpose of it. They are not an outsider to our organization. They are part of it. We are not doing them a favor by serving them. They are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.

-- Sister Libby & Joan Burke for Loaves & Fishes


Or, how's this: How about if, for kicks, we put these words in the mouth of Mr. Neto on behalf of Overflow. How does this sound:
Sheltered guests are the most important visitors on our premises. They are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them. They are not an interruption of our work. They are the purpose of it. They are not an outsider to our organization. They are part of it. We are not doing them a favor by serving them. They are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
-- Mr. Neto on behalf of VOA, administrator of Overflow

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