A Message from Texas ALP President, Rita C. Alesi, PP, PLS, TSC-CL
The theme of our annual education conference was Spirit of the Islands. Did you know that there are approximately 2,000 plus islands in the earth’s oceans and that 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water? Oceans provide 99% of the living space on the planet and there are over 228,000 forms of marine species. One unique type of marine life is the starfish. They live in the seabed of all of the earth’s oceans from tropical habitats to the cold sea floor. They are considered a keystone species and play a crucial role in their ecological community. So, what does a starfish have to do with Texas ALP? I chose the starfish as my theme.
I see the officers as the five arms that depend on each other and work together in unity to keep our association moving smoothly. Each arm has its own eyes which watch over their chairs who then watch over the members.I ask you, the members, to take the journey with us as we float with the sea stars.As each member participates in the membership campaign our association will thrive.
You may have heard this story, but we should remind ourselves of it once in a while. First, read the story:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
We all have the opportunity to help create positive change, but if you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy. How much of a difference can I really make?”This is especially true when we’re talking about addressing massive social problems like world hunger or finding a cure for cancer, but it pops up all of the time in our everyday lives as well. So, when you catch yourself thinking that way, it helps to remember this story.You may not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it for someone.
They say that one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is because we see the challenge before us as overwhelming, and that a good way to counter that is to break the big challenge down into smaller pieces and then take those one at a time–like one starfish at a time. And to that one starfish, it can make a world of difference.
A single, ordinary person still can make a difference—and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day. Since members are the lifeblood of our association, I’m asking you, the members, to make a difference in our association, one member at a time.
Be the one to make a difference.
It's about the journey, not the destination.
Jon Gordon said, "Remember why you do what you do. We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do what we do."