To the Editor:
The year was 2015. I was returning to Haiti for a mission trip (our goal was to build a school). It was day three of the project and we had poles in the ground, girders up and trusses ready to hoist. The only means for lifting the trusses was man power. Haitians, desperate for work, came to help. Consequently, when we began the process of hoisting, we had far more Haitians than were needed.
Imagine coordinating 40 people for the tricky maneuver of hoisting a truss 15 feet in the air. Your only resource is ropes, sticks and brute strength. Such a challenge amongst a group of men that can communicate is hard enough, but when you factor in zero communication with three-fourths of the crew you have an unproductive circus in the making. This was the backdrop for our first truss that took thirty minutes to put into place.
Dusty Johnson, a member of our team, without drawing attention to himself, quietly began to direct the process. He identified strengths and weaknesses of the workers and designated jobs accordingly. He physically walked through the process using gestures and drawings to explain each part of the task. It wasn't long until an undertaking which took thirty minutes to complete now took five.
I witnessed transformation in the method, but the best transformation was the pride the Haitians felt in working as a team to accomplish a task. The experience revealed to me Dusty's unique ability to organize and get people to work together. Beyond that, I saw a glimpse of Dusty's compassion and kindness towards the underprivileged and his desire to make the lives of others better.
We need folks like Dusty in D.C. We need representatives who at their core are compassionate. We need people who have the work ethic Dusty has. And equally, if not more importantly, we need individuals like Dusty who possess the demeanor and skills to bring about the kind of collaboration that is long overdue in Washington.
Jeffrey P. Krall, O.D.