Sunday, August 22, 2010

Making a Difference: It's Up to Each of Us

I have been thinking recently of ways of making a difference.

If you are like me, you see changes -- in your life, in your personal relationships, in your work environment, in the various organizations to which you belong -- that, if made, could make things a lot better. I find that sentences beginning with phrases such as "If only ...", "It's too bad that ...", and "Why don't they see that ...", easily become part of my vocabulary.

However, when I think of changes I've seen -- small changes that have made a difference in my life, or large history-making changes that have made a difference within organizations, religions, and nations -- it all boils down to one common denominator: a person who cared enough to make a difference. And here's the best news: each one of us has the potential to be that person.

Regarding the AGO, I have said in the past, "If only the AGO were more inviting to new members and friends." I truly believe that the Guild has valuable things to offer to every organist I encounter. But to many people outside our membership (and even some of our own members), we appear elitist, snobby, clique-ish, and otherwise non-welcoming.

It's time to move past "If only." I can make a difference. You can make a difference. It's time to take on that delightful responsibility, and the possibilities that come with it!

We are beginning a new program year in all chapters of the AGO. I commit to you, members of Region VI, and I invite you to commit to your Guild, to do the following this program year:
  • Each time I talk about the Guild, whether I'm with a group of members or outside the organization, I will choose positive, welcoming and friendly words.
  • I will follow those words with positive, welcoming and friendly actions.
  • I will do this repeatedly, over the entire program year.
Let's do this together. I truly believe the result will be a transforming experience, for the Guild, for the people you encounter this year, and for YOU!

Sincere best wishes to you this year.