The $2.99 Special

By Sr. Jean Stoner, SND
NGO Representative at the United Nations

One of the most challenging aspects of participating in United Nations efforts is the sheer expanse of problems and the intertwining of one issue with another. Governments working together to consider international migration, for example, encounter migration-related issues of human trafficking, women and children, climate change, armed conflict, and extreme poverty, not to mention financing concerns. Addressing global challenges takes concerted effort to collaborate, persevere, strategize long-term, and compromise, but in my experience, the most valued feature needed by governments, NGOs, and the private sector is creativity, thinking outside the box.

The following story illustrates this quality very well:

Photo by Jessica Wilson. flickr.com
Photo by Jessica Wilson. flickr.com

We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the ‘senior special’ was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99. “Sounds good,” my wife said. “But I don’t want the eggs.

“Then I’ll have to charge you $3.49 because you’re ordering a la carte,” the waitress warned her.

“You mean I’d have to pay for not taking the eggs?” my wife asked incredulously.

“Yes!” stated the waitress.

“I’ll take the special then,” my wife said.

“How do you want your eggs?” the waitress asked.

“Raw and in the shell,” my wife replied. She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.”

This wonderful story highlights what can be accomplished with imagination. And creativity and imagination are what it takes when dealing with critical issues on a global scale, which the United Nations does on a daily basis.