The Calm Before the Storm or Just Happy to be Back?
Well, it was bound to happen! Would you believe that I have been writing articles for the Florida Elks News (now Florida Elks Magazine) since I became State Secretary in 2002? Then, in 2013, I decided to step them up a bit and make them a little more motivational. So, every three months for the last nine years, I have been writing the more motivational-type messages, and for the first time, I am stumped and unable to come up with a topic for this quarter’s article!
Could it be that things have been running so smoothly as of late that nothing really begs attention? I guess I could talk about membership, but who among us does not realize the never-ending need to recruit new members and retain our current members? Leadership is a favorite subject that I write frequently about, but we must have it figured out, as our lodges seem to be chugging right along, and that wouldn’t be happening if we did not have leadership! Another one of my favorite subjects is the management of our lodges as the businesses they are, but we know what we need to do, and we do it. Sure, we can always do better, but we know that, and we try. Sometimes change takes time and sometimes change must be timed to coincide with true need. I could write about our two major projects and the amazing things we do for the children of Florida, but how could I present it any better than it is done by Nick Miller and Colleen Gallant, our Youth Camp and Children’s Therapy Services Directors, respectively?
Perhaps my writer’s block is a precursor of something yet to come? Have we become complacent, and are we just so happy that our lives are back to some sort of normalcy? The vagueness of things in the current state has us content to just go through the motions, so to speak. It’s almost as if we are waiting for another shoe to drop! I am not a psychologist, but I suspect this is a natural human reaction, especially after we were faced with a yearlong-plus COVID-19 pandemic! So, let’s take advantage of the still waters and be happy navigating the course. Rest assured it will not always be smooth sailing, so we should enjoy it while we can!
As we look forward to a bright future together, let us take this time to appreciate those around us, as we learned through the pandemic how important social interaction is. We take time to mourn those we lost and show concern for those adversely affected from the fallout. We must never forget that when we invite others to membership in our lodges, we are inviting them into our family and making them family members. We must remember that families are built around relationships and not just numbers, so if the new member is not a good fit and is just a number, the relationship will be short-term. As we grow our lodge leadership teams, we must select members who have skills to bring to the plate. Youth and energy should not simply take the place of experience and wisdom. Granted, many lodge positions are learn-as-you-go prospects, but they can’t all be that way if we are to be successful. Long-range planning and growing future leaders must be the centerpieces of every lodge’s development plan. And finally, none of us are getting younger and all of us will need to become more tolerant of change if we are to grow. Look around at the changing world we live in. Today’s headlines will eventually filter their way into our lodges and when they do, we must be ready to adapt.
The Order of Elks has successfully navigated change since its beginning, and our solid infrastructure will continue to serve us well into the future. The Elks organization is vibrant, and we are strong. We are strong because of our members, and we will remain strong because of our members.
The Elks of Florida are and continue to be my inspiration. My writings are inspired by you, so challenge me. I know you have questions and comments, and I will do my best to provide answers and opinions. What is on your mind? Email me at email@example.com and share! I look forward to hearing from you!
Carl Seibert, COO/State Secretary
Florida State Elks Association