Saturday 19 February 2011

Guest post: Chris aka Cyberdoyle

I don't think Chris needs any introduction. But just in case; Chris is a digital campaigner. She is more of an expert in the use of social media for campaigning than anyone should be - she led the way that others follow. She's a granny who keeps in touch with family across the world using Skype and chat, a woman whose opinion is massively respected when it comes to digital inclusion and broadband, and whose voice occasionally echoes around Whitehall despite rarely leaving her farm near Lancaster, where she is a farmers wife, but also co-ordinator of DIY broadband, microwave and wireless distribution for her local area. She is a volunteer, a farmers wife and a granny. But she is also one of the most inspiring women I've ever met.

Therefore, it is something of an honour to be able to say, here is a guest post from Chris. I hope the end makes you grin as much as it did me.

I don't profess to be a writer, or a blogger. As a disclaimer I follow no political party or religion. I have a lot of faith in the wisdom of ages, and history. I think back to the old days, and the fables, old wives tales and stories passed on by the generations, either at home, school or church.

These days I find I am bewildered by the hype, spin, lies, deceit and totally ridiculous state of affairs in this country. I see, hear, meet and talk to many people who seem to feel the same. When Lou asked me
to do a guest post on her blog I refused, because I don't think I can keep up the high standard she has set, but tonight I read this story that came through an email that had been forwarded many times. You may
have seen it already, and I don't know who to credit for writing it. (It wasn't me)

It reminded me of how we used to be taught to live our lives. Today we seem to be taught/expected to do the opposite. It makes me wonder how long before the circle closes and we return to a land of common sense,
courage, honesty and truth. I know the vast majority of people are good and honest. I know the young executives in this story were doing their very best to succeed, but there has to be a cut off point when
the monkeys stop climbing ever higher up the tree and stop to see what is happening on the ground. This isn't like the old fables, this is the 'apprentice' equivalent...... let me know your thoughts if it generates any.

The story:

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.  I will then judge the plants that you
bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.
Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.  By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just new he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.

Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life,
but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and
honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

   * If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
   * If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
   * If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
   * If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
   * If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
   * If you plant hard work, you will reap success
   * If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

I will add one more thing to the story...

* Don't spend your life climbing the tree and forget to plant something. :)


  1. Thanks for the lovely intro!

    It was a story that really started off a lot of thoughts, some of which won't go away. Glad you have put it out into the ether, and hope it makes many more people think too.

    There is only so much BS the people can take, and we are all heartily sick of spin. If we want a big society then the ones at the top of the tree have to join in too, instead of concentrating on their climb.

    There has to be more honesty - the main reason I say this and why the story struck a chord was the fact that the young executives are busy flaunting copper plants around the councils at this very moment, and the councillors do not see that those plants couldn't possibly have grown from the dead seeds.

    Copper is not the future, there is no point in investing time, water, effort, fertiliser and compost on it.
    Time to light the fibre, get some good fresh seeds and get them planted.

  2. Great story, I haven't heard that one although I was a little surprised that you didn't sneak a mention about monkeys at the bottom of trees :-)

  3. Ha ha Kevin, you mean the ones at grassroots doing all the innovation and funky stuff, looking up and seeing only a***holes? I think most readers of this blog saw the earlier post on here where we discussed those and will already be putting two and two together...