In our time here, we had three lectures by Stafano Zamagni, professor of cooperative economics at the University of Bologna. He is a leading economics scholar.
On Monday evening we all had dinner at his summer home in the hills outside Bologna. That day he had been in Rome meeting with Prime Minister Berlusconi about economic models that could relieve the economic crisis in Italy. It was pretty amazing that his day consisted of meeting with the Prime Minister to debate economic policy and spending the evening with a bunch of cooperators from Vancouver.
The next morning was to be our last lecture with him. But our schedule was changed and he was moved his lecture to the afternoon, and then, when the time came, he was an hour late for our lecture. The reason? He was in Rome again meeting with the Pope to work with him on his upcoming encyclical on poverty.
That has got be one of the best excuses for running late I’ve ever heard.
And it got me thinking: Who do we make time for in life? Here’s a busy man, meeting with the head of state one day and the Pope the next and yet he doesn’t cancel his sessions with us. He sees the value of his time spent with us.
Are there groups in your community that are worthy of your time but somehow never get it? Are there small cooperatives running on a shoestring that are doing good work but struggling that could use our help as credit unions?
That balance between what is large and what is small, but seeing the importance in each is pretty powerful.