Experiencing the fabric of communities in France in early October and reading the attached NYT article has opened my eyes to the importance of a meeting point for neighborhoods, communities, and workplaces.
Of course, meetings are essential, especially amongst co-workers, but are they filled with warmth? Do you want to be there mentally and emotionally? You can be there physically, but what gives it a deeper human connection?
Yes, business is business, and it's known to be this matter of fact, neither compassion nor empathy nor a basic human touch is to enter the picture. Is this truly a reality? Is this how we want to live our lives? Are we simply bots?
The French fully understand the importance of a meeting place like a bakery because it allows communities to bond and come together in one central spot. With their bakeries dwindling and replaced by large corporations and even vending machines, the inhabitants of small local French towns are left feeling empty.
"We're no longer in contact with the other inhabitants. It was the only meeting point left."
So how does that transfer to people like us at work every day regularly attending meetings after meetings, hopping on conference calls, and responding to hundreds of emails?
A sense of community is the heartbeat of FlatironCity; it defines who we are within the landscape of Atlanta. Interior office spaces that exude warmth like a comforter on a cold winter day; millennials and baby boomers are engaging one another in banter at the coffee bar or trimming the Christmas Tree to celebrate the holiday.
Community morphs in different forms.….its Bradley, Land of a Thousand Hills' barista, serving up a smile with a warm latte and offering a burst of energy to face the challenges of the day.. It's the bourbon on the rocks one cherishes at a local pub n O4W……is it the company a potluck or a "secret Santa" gift exchange. The community makes us stronger, happier, and empowers us to face the challenges of the day.
The importance of a comfortable meeting place is vital amongst many cultures in the world. What area or specific site do you consider to be your warm French bakery?