Changing Values - SETTLER STORIES.
by John Powderly FRSA

Welcome back to Changing Values, where I would like to try something different this time. I would like to share two stories that will encourage you to get a more rounded view of what it means to be a Settler and/or to honour the Settler consciousness within you.

War is Safer

Born in Lebanon in 1983, Nemr Abou Nassar's family moved to California when he was two years old, to escape the dangers of his country's long civil war. Nine years later, his family left San Diego and moved back to Beirut. Due to the illegal drugs, missing children and other crimes, his father found America too scary; telling his son: "In Beirut, the only danger is war. We can run away from that and hide." Nemr is now an international stand-up comedian.

As Settlers, we know that safety is in the eye of the beholder.

A Life's Work

As healthy Settlers who have developed a particular set of skills, we like to develop and refine our craft as much as we can. Doing something well is a great source of happiness. To illustrate, here is a story ....

A woman had been working in the same factory on the same machine for over 25 years. The markets changed and the factory had to close its doors. Several weeks before being made redundant, this dedicated woman went to see her boss and asked if she could buy the machine that she had been working on all those years. Almost dumbstruck, the boss asked, "Why?". She answered, "I would like it to go in my shed at the bottom of my garden, where I will polish it once a week."

After agreeing to give the machine for free and deliver it for free, the boss asked a colleague, "Which machine is it?". "Just go on to the shop floor and it will be obvious" was the cryptic reply. The boss walked into the heart of the manufacturing hall and it was obvious - the cleanest and most polished machine stood out from the rest."

A job worth doing is a job worth doing well - this is when mundane work becomes a true craft.


As you can see, a story helps to join the dots, enables deeper empathy and understanding, and, sometimes, brings in a new dimension with new insights. When you look back over the history of your organisation (or your life), what learning experiences and anecdotes come to mind ... and which story resonates with which value mode?

N.B. All views and opinions expressed through these writings are solely my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cultural Dynamics.

John. email: