As the New Year begins, after two long years of Covid lockdowns and distancing, I am more acutely aware of the small moments, gestures and words that can have the greatest meaning. As we humans tend to do, I appreciate and seek meaning and connection.
Last week, the Hartsook team connected in person in Kansas City at the amazing Starlight Theatre. Starlight was incredibly accommodating and met our needs, so our team members and spouses could share an important, though socially distanced and masked, moment. It wasn’t easy, but we knew we would benefit from being together to be inspired by each other’s work, our shared vision to unleash the power of philanthropy and to enjoy the Van Gogh Alive immersive experience.
The short time in one another’s company forced us to quiet our thoughts, pause and step inside the artist’s work and world. The experience included passionate and soul-searching quotes by Van Gogh in the midst of his work, including the prescient, “It won’t be long before what we can show will be more important.”
As I sat on a bench, immersed in Van Gogh’s world, my colleagues and their spouses sat spread across the room. I lifted my phone and took a picture when the words written by Van Gogh were digitally projected on one of the panels: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” I noticed three of my colleagues took the same picture.
The quote obviously spoke to Hartsook consultants, who live this truth every day as we work with nonprofit organizations to increase philanthropy. Ultimately, our work together leads to something great—something that improves, changes and even saves lives.
For Van Gogh, doing the small things created great art. But for us, doing the small things unleashes the power of philanthropy. We know greatness isn’t accomplished in one fell swoop. But step by step, when we work alongside and connect with nonprofit leaders, committed volunteers and generous donors, we all create and become a part of something greater than ourselves.
In these times, I am acutely aware of how precious and fleeting our time together is, however distanced. As always, we need each other, and we need to accomplish great things together.