'Clabbing'

"I really like to clab," the energetic graduate-school candidate before me said confidently. "Some of my best successes throughout my undergraduate work came when I clabbed."

Seeing a slightly puzzled look on my face, he went on, "You know: working on projects with three to four other people. Clabbing. It's amazing what you can learn from others when you realize that you don't have all the answers. So that's the beauty of clabbing."

"Oh, now I get it," I say. "You're talking about collaborating, right?"

"Right. The coolest project I ever worked on was with five other youth leaders from my church. We arranged for a community service mission to Central America. We went there and spent a week just talking with folks and showing them they're loved and appreciated, especially the children. Those kids had almost nothing — hardly any clothes, little food or water, no shoes, and trash for toys. It was a real eye-opener."

We talked a little more about this experience and how it impacted him and the other youth leaders. He finished by saying, "Clabbing made such a difference. I couldn't have done one-tenth of this on my own."

Right. That's the beauty of clabbing.

[Nancy Linenkugel is a Sylvania Franciscan sister and chair of the department of health services administration at Xavier University, Cincinnati.]

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