I am not sure I have fully explained, in previous posts, about what motivates me to serve our active and veteran armed service community and their families. Therefore, let me very briefly and succinctly explain. My first passion is for our active service members in focused communities. I have been given the privilege of walking along side them for many years and I see things and situations many do not. I am 100% dedicated to strengthening their communities, through the functions I serve, and building their capacity and motivation to continue to serve. When I am asked to take on a project the first and foremost litmus test is that any funds raised goes back to directly impact this focused community. Even the fees given to me should be expected to be used to directly support the community through my passion and commitment to them.
There are many more words I can use to explain my thought process but honestly everything boils down to the simple value and standard explained above. A value and standard I feel should not be compromised. Recently I was confronted with a situation in regard to a focused community I desperately wanted to serve. I quickly reached a decision to remove my support and subsequently there was a requested compromise that suggested I go against the value and standard that is so very important to me. Shortly after I made the decision and as a result of various conversations I felt sick to my stomach. Did I turn my back on folks who believed in me?
Ironically, the Tyler Perry statement is what finally gave me the comfort to honestly and resiliently know that I did not turn my back on this community. As a matter of fact, through my decision I showed solidarity with them. I fought for them and will continue to do so.
Our individual journey's are so unique. I am so blessed to have a purpose filled life.
In 2010 the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff put out a white paper called The Sea of Goodwill. This white paper is what solidified my decision to go back into a full time business for myself. A business that is committed to my armed service brothers. It was this paper's acknowledgement that in the way forward we must find a way to bring the communities together and government representatives must find ways to embrace the generosity of the community. Isolated resources simply will not and cannot endure.
This is what solidified my decision to help communities serve themselves. How powerful is that? Bring all aspects of the focused communities together and help them build capacity to take care of themselves? Brilliant if you ask me.
One of my favorite portions of the paper:
"No single agency or organization has the manpower, resources, or intellectual capital to
provide a lifetime of care and support to our military family. We, as a nation, must build key partnerships and link national and local community efforts. If the Sea of Goodwill is leveraged by leaders and citizens wanting to contribute, the military family will strengthen our communities, which in turn, will strengthen our nation."
I thought this white paper was the opening for government officials to fully embrace someone like me. For them to stop resisting the fact that folks from their external community want and can do good things for them and be selfless in the process. I believed that this white paper gave our military leaders the permission to think differently and outside the 'norm' of the way they have been doing business or forming relationships with the civilian community.
However, I have been reminded time and time again since 2010 that many still do not understand. Many leaders are still not ready to embrace something different. They are still not ready to accept that there really is a sea of goodwill wanting to serve them and all it takes is their LEADERSHIP to open the flood gates.
Although many leaders and systems are still obstinate to the possibilities that exist, I have already made my commitment. Like Tyler Perry says we should, I will be persistent. I will be living proof that the sea of goodwill DOES exist and then whenever a leader allows me to help bridge the gap I will be ready to help focused communities build capacity and strength, but I will not compromise and invest in a structure or system that denounces the sea of goodwill exists and does not give it the opportunity to flourish.
This is something worth fighting for.