2017-2018 National Chief of Staff/Extension Ambassador
Embrace Our Differences and Work Toward Our Common Goal: Helping Veterans
As we’ve seen across the country throughout the last month, weather can quickly change. Despite technological advances and the best efforts of our weather forecasters, we never really know what kind of weather we’re going to wake up or go to sleep to. As we experience the season of fall, it brings to mind the following comparisons:
- The temperature can be cool in the morning and warm up by the afternoon, just as it may take time for members to warm up to a new idea.
- Some days we feel the warmth of excitement over an accomplishment, and then there might be a day when you feel cold because things didn’t quite go as you planned.
- We may experience an interruption to our day by a rain shower, snow, or heavy winds, just as you may come across a member in which you don’t exactly “click” with. However, your day may be brightened by the warmth of sunshine as you embrace the smile of a friend or veteran.
- Driving down the road you may see a beautiful landscape, similar to members you see volunteering at an Auxiliary or Post event.
Leaves on trees are like members; they come in a variety of shapes, colors and textures. In our meeting rooms we see many beautiful colors; the variety of tones in the clothing, hair colors, skin tones and texture, body shapes and personalities of our fellow Auxiliary members.
Personality conflicts can break an Auxiliary. The next time tensions begin to rise over a disagreement at a meeting, take a step back and look at the situation as a new member and what their first impression of the organization and its members would be. Many members have been lost due to jealousy, members discrediting another member, being ignored and/or being told their ideas will never work.
We all have our own personalities, ideals and goals. We may agree or disagree at times, but we are all working for a common purpose: to assist our veterans, active-duty military and their families, and our communities.
If you look at a cotton swab or tooth pick what do you see?
- The cotton swab is to clean your ears and listen to what those around you have to say.
- The toothpick is to remind you to pick out the good qualities of others (including yourself!), and to be tolerant and accept opinions that differ from your own.
You are encouraged to visit the Membership section of the Online Auxiliary Academy and review Engaging Your Auxiliary’s Existing Members. This presentation is a great resource for sharing the importance of existing members. Remember: an engaged membership equals a healthy Auxiliary.
Take the time and enjoy our beautiful and diverse membership. Remind yourself that you don’t always have to agree with a fellow Auxiliary member, but please do not discredit him or her. Everyone deserves respect!