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Showing Appreciation Doesn't Have to be a Big Deal


For more than two months, I've been part of a small organization that has developed some close-knit ties. At the end of January, we will go our separate ways after providing a series of deliverables. Yesterday, one of the co-leaders said, "this is deeply personal to me. We've bonded, and I wanted to give you all something to stay in touch."

I spend a minimum of 10 hours a week with these amazing people, socially distanced and masked. We don't always see eye to eye, and sometimes we have heated conversations, but we engage in our debates in a respectful, compassionate and empathetic manner. We always exercise thoughtful listening when each person has the floor, and at the end of our time together, we walk out the door friends.

Collectively, the group brings diversity of thought, experiences and views that enable us to collaborate and bring forth the best solutions to the challenges with which we are presented.

I cannot provide context to explain the immediate significance of the blind justice pin our group co-leader gave each one of us, but suffice it to say it also has an especially important meaning given the current environment. I will be forever grateful for the team and experience.

We have many freedoms afforded us, not the least of which include thought, speech, decisions and actions. These are precious freedoms that should be among the basics in our communication toolbox to use and share without fear of ridicule—in our personal as well as work lives. Each unique thought, decision and action we bring to a table intertwines with those of others, contributing to an enriched outcome stronger than one a single mind can provide.


—Monique Jozwiakowski

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