1. (of a person) Devoted to a task or purpose; having single-minded loyalty or integrity

Lately, the term dedicated has been pushing to the forefront of many conversations. In fact, just the other day I was talking with someone who kept using 'big' words, but was not applying those 'big' words with consistency in his/her expression.  I said to him/her that 'words' mean something and we should not randomly throw them around.  We should KNOW what they mean. 

I am also a proponent of synchronicity.  So, when messages line up and repeat themselves from several people I take notice and become a student. 

After hearing about dedication, from several folks, I started looking for people who fit my definition of dedicated.  I noticed that the only time I feel down or seemingly lose faith is when the folks surrounding me do not seem to be dedicated to each other, the mission, the goal and/or the task at hand. 

During the Best Ranger Competition this year, and after several days of intense work, one of my new colleagues suggested that my next blog be about dedication. He mentioned this after taking note of my dedication to the RANGER community. Dedication certainly seemed like a worthwhile topic to me. 

"Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others." - unkown

I always reflect when preparing for a blog and as I sat to really ponder dedication I was reminded of a phrase I used when leading a youth program at Columbus State University 15 years ago.  I encouraged the youth leaders to use the self proclaimed D.I.P method when approaching the program and other challenges in life.  D.I.P stands for Dedication, Initiative and Priorities.  Even back then I was drawn to the importance and significance of dedication. 

I have mentioned before, in previous blogs and professional writings, that it seems like there is an ever growing divide between dedicated service providers and those who could really care less. As a coordinator/consultant it is difficult to meet the needs of an expansive client load without dedicated service providers.  When your service providers are only looking for a quick pay check or see you as a hurdle, every moment of a project can seem like an eternity. Yet, when you are fortunate enough to come across or attract dedicated service professionals, you should take heed and not allow them to escape you.  They are often the difference between your sanity and holding back throat punches on the daily. 

In all seriousness, it was when my colleague and friend Jill Bruce interrupted me one day to say, "Please do not worry about that.  I am dedicated to you and to making this work," that it hit me square in the face.  There is nothing I admire more about people than dedication.  Dedication to their own word first and foremost and then dedication to those around them, and finally the goal(s) at hand. 

I am fortunate to have many dedicated people around me.  They help me feel all the great things in life: joy, pride and gratitude. 

If I am anything - I now know and understand I am one dedicated individual. I am dedicated to provide resource development services for private organizations that surround and support our active military, Veterans, and their families.  I am dedicated to provide a vehicle to raise/sustain esprit de corps, to generate non-appropriated funds that directly support the individual service member, to leverage assets in providing training opportunities and to provide a bridge for the civilian community to better know our military and first responders in a more intimate way. 

Who or what are you dedicated to?