October 4, 2014

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day

There is a song that begins with the refrain, "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May." The Temptations were talking about "My Girl;" but I find sunshine in the warmth and positive vision of an Optimist Club.

Part of my commitment may be attributed to the words of the Optimist Creed. Through them, I am reminded to keep my spirit high and to expect only the best. However, words on paper, even when recited aloud, are only words. It takes action to make the promises a reality.

Every week,  I work with a group of like-minded individuals to make a difference in my community. Sometimes we are hands-on with a project. Other times we learn, discuss and plan. And sometimes we just take time to celebrate not only our accomplishments, but also our friendship. Each is equally important, but it is the camaraderie that leads us to want to do even more together. It's that camaraderie that motivates others to get involved.

If you look around, you may notice that there are usually enough volunteers who will pitch in when a project is started; but getting them involved in the discovery and planning process is a little harder. Pointing to busy schedules, people are reluctant to add another meeting to their week. That's one of the reasons that Optimist Clubs, as well as other service clubs, are experiencing decline in membership. The simple solution is to make your Optimist Club meeting a source of social good.

Social good is defined as a specific "good" that is beneficial to a whole community. With that broad of a definition, it might be wise to realize that we each belong to a number of different communities, or groups if you prefer, that come together to make the whole. In the case of the service club, your membership makes you a part of that community. The social good you experience will be personalized to you through your interaction with the group. The group will decide to do projects that contribute to a larger group. The larger group may continue that radiation affect. Building from a nucleus like an Optimist Club, your community can thrive, and just like the picture in today's image, the rays of sunshine will be seen and felt by all.

If you want sunshine on a cloudy day, look no further than your local Optimist Club.


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