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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

We must take action

TG Thomas
It's been one month since the PNW District Optimist Clubs came together at the 2018 District Convention. Hosted by the Lebanon Optimist Club, it was a splendid event. The Lebanon Optimists shared information about their community and their club and their Optimist pride was easy to see. 

Glenda StandevenDuring the weekend, we had the opportunity to hear from TG Thomas, the official representative from Optimist International and incoming vice president of the West Region. TG led the officers-elect training and gave a presentation about membership growth, relating the need to volunteer to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. As Maslow indicated, once the basic needs of personal well-being and security are met, individuals seek to belong and rise to find a sense of accomplishment and prestige among their peers. Only then do they move on to self-actualization where they try to achieve their full potential through creative activities, among other things. Imagine the last two stages: can't both be achieved by belonging to an Optimist Club? 

In a very inspirational presentation, we also heard from a fellow Optimist Club member and incoming president of the Chilliwack Optimist Club, Glenda Standeven. Glenda is a cancer survivor who has used her experience to author the book, "I am Choosing to Smile." She shared her story about learning her diagnosis, having her leg and hip amputated, and adjusting to her new lifestyle. Her key message was that we make choices every day about how we are to live. For her, choosing to smile is a mantra and the way she encourages herself to take action every day. 

To illustrate her point, Glenda lit the candle that can be seen on the podium in the picture to the right. Channeling "The Secret," she asked the audience to will the candle to extinguish. As persons with a positive mindset, the audience tried with all their might to fulfill Glenda's wish, but alas, they could not. Then Glenda said, "As optimists, we can hope. As realists, we realize we have to take action to make our goals happen."

Yes, indeed. To achieve our goals for ourselves, for our communities, for the youth, and for our Optimist Clubs, we must take action today.