Hi! How are you?
Yesterday I was reading and writing about love in the workplace, inspired by a few books on this topic. I am so excited about this! We speak of love in many contexts but not often when it comes to working. When thinking of drawing a boundary around a system, I think we can say that it is safe to draw a boundary around peoples, humankinds. Humankind is a system within systems.
I am hopeful that ultimately our common purpose is to care for and have respect for each other. That we can trust and be authentic, to be kind and supportive for each other and feel this from others too, i.e., love and loving-kindness. Not only at home, with friends or family, but also in the workplace.
Animal care professionals across different disciplines such as laboratories, shelters, zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and farms experience a wide range of occupational stressors (sorrows) as well as satisfactions (joys). Sorrows may include extended workloads, dysfunctional teams, limited time and budgets, grief, loss, and euthanasia; joys may be supporting good animal wellbeing, the connection with the animals, species conservation, connecting to the public, animal and environmental protection, contributing to other goals such as research and education.
While differences between the professions exist, there are also large overlaps grounded in common humanity. The knowledge that we are not alone, that life is all about relationships and connections and that we can find support and strength in each other unites us. The cross-pollination of stories and experiences across disciplines and fields, as well as learning and contributing different proven strategies and methods is what we can all benefit from, both the animals and the people in these professions.
We all know how fun and wonderful it can be to be at work, to care and feel love for an animal and to feel loved by an animal. To have time with friends and colleagues, feeling cared for. We also all know how trying and sad it can be when our connections and relationships are difficult and conflicting or even broken. Creating healthy, kind and loving workspaces, with attention to psychological wellbeing, benefits of gratitude and mindfulness, addressing bullying and toxicity, and systemic causes of stress and burnout are equally as important as holding space for people to have time to feel connected, to grief, to have rituals.
In his book, Bear (2011) wrote "What all people need most is to feel loved”, and of course, from care professionals, volunteers, educators, managers, to the CEO, they are all human beings.
I think that today a deep and true culture of care is about love in the workplace.
There are so many examples of love, between us and the animals, things we do for each other, how leaders celebrate us, our love for protecting animals, saving species, and this beautiful planet we share.
When did you feel loved at work? Who made you feel loved at work?
👇 Please share below!
With love and curiosity,