Friday, November 8, 2019

The Little Red Hen

While pondering circumstances today, I came to recollect the story of the Little Red Hen. Not the chicken who thought the sky was falling, that was Chicken Little in a completely different movie. In case you forgot, or hadn't heard the story, I'll include it here. Thanks go to Project Gutenberg for the text.

The Little Red Hen

Little Red Hen lived in a barnyard.
She spent almost all of her time walking about the barnyard in her picketty-pecketty fashion, scratching everywhere for worms....

So the story started.  You can go read it if you're fuzzy on the details. 

I don't like the outcome or the undertones of this story.

There's so many things just not right here and they all fit together into a bitter story of pride, exclusion, and selfishness. Not to mention an overly self-reliant chicken.

I am unsettled at the plot of the story and it set me to wondering.
Why didn't she share the bread anyway?
Why didn't she do more compelling recruiting to help with the process?
Didn't she have any sales training or leadership development that could equip her to share the vision?
Why didn't the story talk about the other animals being excluded?
Why are we left to imagine the probable anger and rejection the other animals felt?
I bet they had a few descriptive words about the Little Hen.
Why is it ok to use scorn and exclusion to shame someone because they didn't help?
What if they had a different role to play than what you thought you wanted from them?
Why was a stingy hen the apparent hero of the story?

I don't see myself wanting to relate to any of the characters in the story or their behaviors resulting from their situation.

I'd rather like to rewrite the story.

Jolo the Little Maker
a story adaptation by
Joey Loman

Little Maker Jolo lived in a little city called Greenville.
He loved to make things and had a great idea to start a makerspace where all his friends could get together and have a great time learning about tools, making things, and even starting businesses.

Jolo looked around and asked his friends, "Who wants to build a grand space for making in Greenville?"
The idea was very popular and people told Jolo it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Of course, Greenville needed such a useful thing.

So Jolo put out the message, "Who wants to help me build the walls for the makerspace where people can hang out and have fun learning new things and making stuff?"
"I will!" said Bobo the carpenter. But after the second week, he stopped showing up.
Jolo, even though he was tired, went ahead and finished the walls himself. He knew the makerspace needed them if people were going to have a space to put the tools.

When the walls were built, Jolo sent out another message.
"Who wants to help me get the tools for the makerspace where people can hang out and have fun learning new things and making stuff??"
"I will!" said Meymo the mechanic. But, after he donated some old tools, Meymo disappeared, too.
Jolo went ahead and donated all of his tools. He knew the makerspace needed to have them so people could learn how to use them to create new things.

"Who wants to help me teach the classes for the makerspace where people can hang out and have fun learning new things and making stuff??"
"I will!" said Tibu the woodworking teacher. But Tibu got busy and didn't have time to teach a class.
Jolo, seeing that people needed projects to learn from, started teaching people how to use the tools and make things. He knew people were appreciative to learn new things and it was exciting to watch people learn.

"Who wants to help me pay the expenses to keep the makerspace going so people can hang out and have fun learning new things and making stuff?"
"I will!" said Kapie the banker.
But Kapie stayed out of sight.
Jolo, knowing that someday the makerspace would flourish with economic growth, reached deep into his back pocket. Then into his sock drawer. Eventually, Jolo had to borrow from The Ghost of Christmas Future, who charged him a considerable barter.

One day, the Little Maker Jolo looked at the makerspace and it was ready for making new things. Tools were in place, classes were scheduled, and the bills were paid.

"Who wants to enjoy the makerspace with me?" Little Maker Jolo asked.

"I want to!" said Bobo the carpenter.
"I want to!" said Meymo the absent mechanic.
"I want to!" said Tibu the busy teacher.
"I want to!" said Kapie the stingy banker.
"I want to!" said Yupa, even though Yupa had never met Jolo.

And Jolo swung the doors open wide.

Grabbing his ceremonial Bovinoche sword, he performed a sabrage to welcome everyone in to share their stories and contribute their talents. He even ordered pizza from the Quiktrip down the street for all to share.

Bobo the carpenter learned how to fly a drone. That was nothing like carpentry.
Meymo the mechanic had a great time sharing stories and playing games. No tools required.
Tibu the teacher had a great time making a lamp out of a bottle. Learning was unpressured and fun.
Kapie the banker had a great time learning about tools she had never seen before.

Yupa started a successful businesses on Etsy. She generously shared the proceeds back to the makerspace to keep it going. And she gave some profit back to Jolo for his help in her success.

Jolo was exhausted from the effort of building walls, maintaining tools, teaching workshops, and investing his life savings. But Jolo's feelings of accomplishment and the inner joy he felt were only amplified by the happiness of his friends and the growing local economy. He even settled up with the Ghost of Christmas Future.

The little city of Greenville became a better place because of everyone who contributed to the awesome makerspace community.