We have a Learn @ Work Week campaign this week at the office. The goal is to provide a few opportunities and platforms for folks to learn something new, directly or indirectly benefiting their day to day work.

The first event was held this afternoon. At the first glance at the promotional leaflet a few days ago, I was not quite intrigued by the topic – Type II Diabetes. It seemed a bit irrelevant and boring. It’s a disease that people talk about all the time and so much so it becomes a “never mind” disease; but it’s also a disease that I don’t know much about because no one in my family and network has this health issue.

I was debating “to go, or not to go” until the last minute.

One voice in my head told me to give the event a chance because insulin (the product that treats diabetes) is a product that was invented and massively manufactured by our company many years ago. It’s important for me to know the story. The other voice was asking me to stay in my office and use the time to finish off a couple of deliverables.

I struggled for a few more seconds and then convinced myself to walk into the meeting room, and boy! Am I lucky to make that decision?!

I loved the event, and the talks! There were two keynote speakers. One is a brilliant doctor who is also a CBC health columnist; he delivered a fascinating, engaging and educational presentation about the disease and how to prevent oneself from getting it. The other speaker is one of my colleagues who has managed this disease in the past decade. His personal story helped all of us to better understand what it feels like to have Diabetes from a patient perspective. It’s something that you have no choice but to manage it with discipline and a healthier lifestyle.

Having a disease is never easy, but having a closed mind is even worse. Oops…I was so close to be the close-minded person today.

The 90- min event provided me with lots of good information:

– learned how to effectively present scientific data in an engaging way;

– realized that doctor can be humorous too;

– got to know my colleague better as he shared his personal patient journey

– learned so much about the disease

– received some great tips about eating healthy and the importance of exercises

The world is beautiful.

Open your eyes and open your minds.

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