July 6, 2015
Exactly one week ago, I was sitting in the Fast Horse offices working on a long to-do list when I got the email reminding me that later in the afternoon I had agreed to volunteer with some of my Fast Horse colleagues at Cornerstone, a violence-prevention organization in Bloomington. Normally, I would have been happy to lend a hand, but that day in particular, I was slammed.
In general, I try to do my best to help out other people when I can. Having volunteered as a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for more than six years, and can honestly say I understand how a few hours of time each month — or even year — can really make a difference.
But last week, I was feeling stressed. I had a lot of things I needed to finish up before the end of the day. For a second, I thought I just might be too busy to make the trip down to Bloomington. 394 was closed after all, and traffic was going to be a nightmare.
My better judgment won over, and I got in my car and made the trek down to the southern suburbs. Thirty minutes of traffic and a missed exit didn’t do much to improve my mood, but I made it to Cornerstone just in time to walk downstairs to find a few of my coworkers were already hard at work getting ready to serve dinner to the residents. Rita Johnson, our office manager, had bought and prepared a wonderful spread of food with the help of Fast Horse’s Hannah Dittberner and Kaitlyn Hilliard. I took my place in line and started helping serve the food, very quickly realizing my priorities were pretty pathetic.
Cornerstone is an organization that helps adults and children traumatized by unhealthy, destructive relationships based on power and control. The people we were serving had real problems. Suddenly my busy schedule seemed trivial at best.
I’m lucky enough to work with a group of people who take their jobs seriously. Everyone at Fast Horse works really hard, and as a result we create some pretty amazing stuff, and have a lot of fun doing it. But sometimes, all the hard work can make it easy to lose perspective.
My few hours at Cornerstone reminded me there will always be work to be done, and things to check off my list, but it’s important to remember that I’m not exactly saving lives every day. If helping someone who has had a rough year (or several years) means one of those tasks might be completed tomorrow, then closing my computer and making the drive to Bloomington is the least I can do. And I’m proud to be a part of a company that places value in that kind of decision.