"I want you to understand how important your work is. These men deserve far more than what the current administration will give them. Organizations like yours are soooooo important for their self worth and recognition......"
I have so much I want to say that I simply do not know where to start. Let me try to wrap my mind around a point I want to make and see if I can talk about it succinctly. Here it goes....
The Importance of Community
We are at yet another time in our Nation's history where we should all be reminded that we must find ways to take care of one another and to not rely on/depend on a system and/or government to take care of us. Our current state is fluid and the transition so rapid there seems to be an absolute loss of control for quality big encompassing programs and/or services. The recent government shut down is a perfect example of this standard in lack of (what my daughter's teacher would say) quality work as it comes on the heels of many years of neglect. However, this blog is not about the government or criticism of the government. Rather it is about community. As bad as things seem like they might be I only see the potential for positive gain. Why you may ask?
The why is because since the beginning of my professional career (or what I consider to be the true birth of my professional career) when Ranger Training Brigade commander at the time, COL (Ret) Hazen Baron, sat me down to talk to me about the Ranger community, I made a commitment to serve MY community. I committed to take care of my community, to respect my community and to value my community and all the people in it. At the time, I did not realize that the community would become my family.
In fact, regardless of the bad seeds or the people who always seem to pee negativity (every family has them), I always prefer and desire to see the community band together and take care of one another. I always want to help facilitate progress regardless of my personal feelings. It is such a beautiful thing to witness. It never ceases to amaze me when people under value their individual influence on a community when they are also a part of a conglomerate or bigger bureaucracy.
Regardless, what you should always see from me and as a cornerstone of what I do, is to find ways to work within a bureaucracy but to redefine our perspective on what that means. Redefine that bureaucracy does not define the individual and/or his independent contribution back to the community/family.
Some current and relevant examples of this are some of the military events I am given the opportunity to help support. When the government says we do not have enough money or we do not have enough assets to support an important community event it is interesting to see who gives up and checks the 'too hard to do box' versus who perseveres and is committed to the sustaining value of the event and the overall long term affects it has on the community.
I am never more at peace than when I am at an event and am able to observe the various aspects of our community coming together for a common purpose or end goal. These aspects include industry partners, charitable partners, service members, Veterans/retirees, family and friends. When all convene together to share in the spirit of the community THAT is when magic happens. It is like a beautiful orchestra. It has the power to change and transform lives. It has the power to re-energize those who were running on empty.
I am never more juxtaposed than when someone(s) from the community wants to talk bad about other aspects of the community and to downplay the other aspect's importance to the overall objective.
Mark my words, it takes all of us. I will say this as clearly as I can possibly articulate. It takes all of us to contribute our assets, skills, and/or knowledge in order to sustain the community. No role is more important than the other. When we understand this and practice this, we are a powerful force. We are able to create a closed loop self fulfilling prophecy. We are able to laugh when others looking in cannot put a finger on our greatness.
In closing, the quote at the top of this entry is a perfect window into the significance and importance of total community effort.
How are you serving yours?