I have just finished reading The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. I highly recommend this Pulitzer Prize winner. It offers an insightful look into the life of a great American figure on his ascent toward the presidency.
Theodore Roosevelt was born into a prominent family and could have easily lived the life of an aristocrat. His ceaseless drive and energy propelled him instead into several diverse sectors where he accomplished many great things and literally helped shape the nation that we know today. He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time offering critical input to almost every situation. As word of his accomplishments circulated his reputation grew. He became a popular figure with people from the western frontier to the eastern elite.
Roosevelt walked away from the opportunity to take control of his father's lucrative business and instead went into public life. He held many prominent offices and had impressive successes in those positions as a very young man. He was elected Governor of New York in his thirties and Vice President of the United States when he was 43. He assumed the presidency four days later when President William McKinley was assassinated. While there were many factors that influenced his decision to enter public service one that he frequently cited was the pleasure derived in serving others.
Very few of us in funeral service have trouble understanding the reward involved in serving others.
I hope that all of you are receiving both financial reward as well as personal reward from your business. Reality demands that we prosper in order to attain the material things that we need but most funeral directors remember the personal rewards best. It is very easy to become jaded by any task if the motivation isn't true. The emotional demands of our profession would simply become unbearable without the rewards collected along the way.
Within this newsletter you will find a solicitation from the OFDA nominating committee seeking candidates to run for office. This is an opportunity for you to serve your peers while at the same time collecting memories and experiences that you will remember for your lifetime. This is not an invitation that is right for every situation. The time away from your business is significant. If elected, you are expected to attend and participate in many meetings. You will also sacrifice something that all of us treasure, some of your free time. Like everything meaningful in your life, you will be rewarded tenfold for your sacrifice, again in experience not dollars.
If this is not the year to submit your name for office, please consider it at another point in the future. If you would like to contribute but can't commit the time as an officer, perhaps an appointment to a standing committee is in order. Whatever level of involvement you choose an opportunity exists for you to create your own bounty. We'll take the work from you but leave you all of the memories to savor.