July 31, 2013

Optimist Clubs bring out the best in you

I served as governor of the Pacific Northwest District in 2009-2010. The butterfly logo shown in the above picture is from that year.  The butterfly signified change and growth as it emerged from the octagon, a traditional symbol for Optimist International.

As governor, it was my goal to inspire adults to do more in their communities through their involvement in an Optimist Club. I believed then and I believe now that an Optimist Club brings out the best in its members. It brings people together, from all walks of life, to make their community the best possible place to live. Much of the focus is on youth because the original mission of the founders of the Optimist International organization was to address young boys who were vandalizing and burglarizing their businesses. In fact, "Friend of the Delinquent Boy" served as the organizations tagline for many years until it was changed to "Friend of Youth" in 1972.

However, I believe that the real focus of an Optimist Club is the development of its members. By providing social and business networking opportunities along with the opportunity to perform community service projects, an Optimist Club attends to the whole person. It allows one to grow personally and professionally and through the application of knowledgeable compassion an Optimist Club can bring out the best in you.

You might ask, what is "knowledgeable compassion?" Let me explain. It's somewhat easy to be compassionate and to care about the needs of others, but that doesn't always make you take action. However, with knowledge, we know where we fit in and how we might make a difference. Knowledge enables us and by practicing knowledgeable compassion within an Optimist Club, we make strategic decisions that allow us to give of ourselves in the most beneficial way.

An Optimist Club brings out the best in you because through your involvement you combine your talents with others to make meaningful contributions to your community. It's a bonus that you can grow your business and find friends along the way.

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