It’s the Friday before a long weekend, and I woke up feeling refreshed. I then walked into the dining hall for breakfast, and lo and behold, THERE WERE GRAPES.
Now, for those of you who are frowning with confusion at the slight absurdity of my reaction (and the all caps font that I’ve felt necessary to include to express it), I will fully admit that my excitement at seeing these sweet purple orbs of natural sugar in the dining hall this morning is a bit unreasonable. Bordering on amusing, even. But nevertheless, I find it justifiable because in and of themselves, grapes are a novel affair for those of us in the campus breakfast-eating crowd. After all, in comparison to the more humdrum affair of apples, oranges, and bananas that exist at every meal and other occasion in Harvard dining halls, the sight of grapes has the ability to spontaneously become a sign that why yes, today is going to be a good day. (I assure you, I also wish that every other fruit would elicit that kind of reaction).
On a more meaningful note though, these grapes–besides adding variety to my normal breakfast fare–also brought back thoughts of yesterday’s Women’s Faculty Reception, hosted by The Seneca. It was a lovely and intimate gathering of Harvard women and their favorite female faculty members that was designed to encourage reflection, discussion, and foster the spirit of collegiality that is so important on the campus of any academic institution.
Stephanie Khurana, one of the masters of Cabot House and an entrepreneurial guru of sorts, was one of the invited speakers. I’ve always enjoyed listening to her speak and on this particular morning of grape-induced happiness, I find myself dwelling on one of the things that she said that struck a particular chord with me. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration in it yourself.
Sometimes it’s incredible how you can create value by making something just a little different than it was before.
Maybe it’s the strawberries that you turn into strawberry pie. Or the grapes that you add to the dining hall breakfast menu. (Or even something unrelated to food.) In any case, I think the lesson is the same:
you needn’t invent something new in order to create value, but in the process of creating value, it is very possible that you will have invented something not just new, but ingenious.
Eat plenty of fruit and have a wonderful long weekend, everyone!