Sunday, November 05, 2006

A week to....remember, or forget?

This week: Been in O'Hare 5 times totaling about 9 hours, changed time zones 6 times, gone through security 5 times. All forgettable. Talked to great groups in Tahoe (trends in nonprofit management) and Hilton Head (ethics in nonprofit management); both wonderful groups with terrific questions. Best of all, rendezvoused with my wife at O'Hare (how romantic) and headed for Ann Arbor to see middle son for final parent's weekend--very memorable.

Stayed at a great place in A2 (that's Ann Arbor), for the fourth time. Highly recommend the Ann Arbor Bed and Breakfast. Terrific people, wonderful location, great food and conversation. Pat and Bob make you feel right at home. And, like any B&B you get into, or overhear, great conversations.

From this morning: Two couples (both about my age) who had just met while eating, were talking about certain relatives. Man1 (from couple one) "My nephew is about 36. Graduated from here (Michigan) with an engineering degree went to work for Qualcomm for 10 years, had a great job, then you know what he did? He quit, and is in the nonprofit management program "(he said this as if it were a disease) "at Notre Dame. Now why would you do that?"

Woman2 (From couple two) "Well, both our kids, one a physician and the other an attorney, have given up their jobs in the past two years to go work overseas for NGO's. Both are about the same age as your nephew."

Man1 "What's an NGO?"

Woman2 "A nongovernmental organization, kind of like a nonprofit here in the US."

Man1 "Why would people do that? I mean throw everything away? I mean....."

Woman2 "All I can tell you is that my children have never been happier."

Man1 as he got up to leave. "Well, I'm glad they're happy, but I don't get it...."

Man2 to his wife (sotto voce) "Obviously."

That conversation recharged my batteries.....

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Love this post. I'm about the same age as the nephew/kids, left a high-paying job (which made me miserable) a little over a year ago, and spent the last year volunteering at various non-profits. Just got a job at one, making about 1/3 what I made previously. And I've never been happier!