Don’t Burn the Bridge; Pass the Torch!

7 09 2011

Once upon a time, there was a community of busy people who wanted the same goal.  It was a lofty goal that made everyone in the group feel special.  As time passed, some of the people began to feel “specialer” than others, because it seemed that the rest of the group turned to them for leadership/energy/financing/organizational skill/flat-tire-fixing   .  .  .  you get the idea, I am sure, if you’ve ever been part of a club of any kind.

Now, on one hand, it feels good to feel special, on the other, after a while, it feels like work.  Then it begins to feel like a thankless job.  Then it begins to feel like they’re the ONLY ONE who cares whether this (insert name of any voluntary membership organization here) even survives!  Then, it gets really weird – other folks offer to do some of that work, to help keep the group alive and flourishing.  And what do you think happens next?  The original “specialer” people are even MORE miserable than when they were all alone pushing that rock back up that hill.

I can see my community’s original movers and shakers ready to retire from the day-to-day work of keeping the organization vibrant and I can see the energetic young’uns testing the waters, getting ready to assume the mantle.  I am in the middle.  I am not in a legacy position, but I can see the time is right for me to mentor others and encourage them to take the reins of the group.  I hate to admit it, but I felt a momentary pang of “who will do all the work with all the love and all the attention and all the energy and all the dedication and all the effort and all the . . . “Bullshit!

Every organization grows or dies – period.  I love to garden and part of the beauty of a flowering tree is its willingness to allow its hard-worked leaves to fall to rest around it and trust that new strong flowers will burst forth, bringing new leaves and new energy to the plant.  We must trust that the new leaders of our groups will continue to reach for the sun. They have grown from our organization.  They know what to do to keep it alive and well. Give them support and give them a chance.  They will blossom and we will all benefit.

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