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Governor’s March Comments


The signs are upon us. The first day of spring signals to us the beginning of the third quarter of our important Optimist work. Spring brings with it a sense of new beginning. It is the Optimist of all the seasons of the year.

I looked at the Optimist Creed and made a quick and very easy decision about which line to feature this month. The one we see now is, “To talk health, happiness, and prosperity…”. It was easy for me because I have been traveling with Governor-Elect Bruce Gilbertson to the zone meetings. Bruce is preparing for his upcoming year. Bruce has made a very minimal request for those in attendance. He simply said, “Go home and ask your members about the health of your club.” I would truly like to support him in his preparation for his year. I remember all too recently the amount of preparation an incoming governor must go through.

I flash back upon my thirty plus year career in the field as a child and family therapist. Somewhere during those thirty years it came to my attention we were no longer referred to as counselors in the field of mental illness. That had become strongly frowned upon. Instead, we had suddenly become professionals in the field of mental health. As I look back I can only assume when that committee met to make that change they must have had an Optimist there putting in his opinion. Just to say the words casts a light on it that inadvertently causes a mindset to lean one way or the other. Referring to the professional field as mental health immediately told everyone we were goal oriented and no longer problem oriented. That very same view must be alive and amongst us all as we go forward.

Bruce is asking you to assess your club’s health. That means find the positives going on in your club and concentrate on those. The next statement Bruce offered up was, “and once you have found your strengths, is someone in your club willing to share that with other clubs?” To me that means you have found it and you are willing to share your “prosperity” with those around you so we can all look forward to becoming better at what we do. As we share, we grow. As we learn, we perform. Those of you in attendance at the various zone meetings have all walked away with these ideas as our District Leadership Development Chair, Lynn Viner, has instilled in all of us that what we learn we can readily put to use in a number of places in our professional, personal, and also our Optimist Club lives.

The first time I heard Bruce close the zone meetings with his little three-line request, I thought it was very simple and might not have thrown enough out there for people to sink their teeth into. As I heard it again, I came to realize just how deep the thought and the effort runs and just how important it is in addressing where we are and also where we need to be as the performers within the Pacific Northwest District.

To put this all into perspective I simply say, go out and find your club health, then talk about your club health, and then become open to the idea of sharing your prosperity with the clubs around you. Sharing your prosperity will definitely result in your feeling of happiness. So, now you have fulfilled the part of the creed featured for this month, “To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.”

Again, I stress the importance of predetermined viewpoint. A change of a simple word tells others, as well as reaffirms within your own mindset, that you are goal oriented. Be sure to recognize the difference between talking about the illness within your club. That becomes negative, defeating, and petty. Recognize the health of your club. Only through viewing the health of your club will you convince those around you that you truly are an Optimist.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017