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  • Chris

What it means to be human

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

I did something for the first time yesterday. Something that created an enormous level of anxiety inside me. It had been building for nearly a week and I’d been trying to supress it. I had a very set view of what the experience would be like and I thought it would drain my energy and leave me feeling down and low. I even considered making my excuses.

I went to visit a hospice.

For anyone that knows me well, that will come as a surprise. I’m an emotional little thing (I cry at everything) so the thought of visiting a hospice wouldn’t have been something that I thought I would be able to get through without breaking down.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I arrived with my colleague (and friend) Karen and was struck by an overwhelming feeling of peace as we walked through the garden to the main entrance. Just inside the doorway, a vibrant and happy café, staffed by volunteers, where people were chatting, laughing and going about their business. We waited a few moments before we started our tour of the facilities. Every fact and figure that was shared was done so with deep compassion and with a focus on the patient. There were some humorous stories along the way too. I hadn’t realised that end of life care could sometimes be such a short stay. I also didn’t realise that hospices were able to invest in ‘day’ care for those that were not yet at end of life. The facilities were better than a private hospital, the bedrooms were beautifully designed – all facing the tranquillity of the beautifully designed garden.

Everyone we met was smiling. Genuine, beaming smiles. Any thoughts I’d had about anxiety, fear or sadness immediately appeared to me to be overwhelmingly selfish. It became clear that the power of a hospice (as with any charity) is in its people. Once again it is human connection that leads the way.

I didn’t sleep last night. I lay awake thinking about my visit that day. It wasn’t sadness, it wasn’t anxiety – it was absolute confirmation that ‘Be Happy. Be Human’ as the purpose of my company was the right thing to do. I was awake because I wanted to be clear in my mind about what that means to me. We’ve done a lot of work about what that looks like for Acceler8 – now I need clarity about what that means to me.

My company needs to do good. I’ve always known and wanted that. We’ve talked about building schools to improve education in countries where good education can be difficult to access. We’ve spoken about donating money to good causes. We’ve shouted about causes we stand up for (LGBTQ+ and most recently RNLI). We’ve talked a lot about doing good things in the community. Yes, we will continue to do all of that, but we need to do so much more. We need a legacy.

I don’t know exactly what that looks like at the moment. By its nature, I might even spend the rest of my life looking for what it might be, but I’m up for that journey. Acceler8 Training will stand for what’s important to us and it will do good.

I can't do it alone - I need your help to do that.

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