“do it with joy”

“Do it with joy.”

That’s Muhammad Yunus’ seventh principle of social business. It should be equivalent to the first principle of the development business, but does become increasingly hard to remember after a while. And frameworks for sustainable livelihoods analysis – they really do kill the joy.

Dear god of acronyms, let me never, never say “PoP” when referring to the “poorest of the poor.”

***

I scribbled that as a little post-it for myself on a particularly uninspiring day. Sometimes, when you want to do things right, it involves a lot of feeling wrong along the way. As an earnest young “development worker” striving to earn the label, there is little one can do but to follow instructions, learn the frameworks, and hope that the “outputs” and “outcomes” have been categorized correctly.

As a still-earnest not-as-young person, the tradeoffs between passion and progress seem less painful. The categorization becomes neater, the jargon rolls off the tongue. This is the way the world works. To be heard and taken seriously, one has to learn the language. And think less, and show more.

Maybe I’ve come all this way to realize that all I really want to do is to write a children’s book.

whatibe

But that makes me think some more, and I find that I really also want to teach them to read. If I must have a mouthful of letters, then that is what I want to do with it.

So, other development workers of the world, if you’ve had a long day involving proposals and paperwork, salad and Stata, I would recommend grabbing a cup of ice cream and making your way to the more colourful corner of the local bookstore. Or a cup of soup, maybe, and taking it to wherever it was that you first found your joy. If it’s not too late, maybe you’ll be able to find it there still.

About these ads

8 responses to ““do it with joy”

  1. Pingback: Don’t forget the Joy! | developingnathan·

  2. Yes! Yes, yes, yes. This sentence, especially: ” And I thought, these processes are divested of joy. Maybe I’ve come all this way to realize that all I really want to do is to write a children’s book.” Let’s write a children’s book together? :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s