Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!
Earlier today, I had a pretty good-sized reality check. It happened on my drive to Baltimore from my home in NJ. There I was muttering to myself about how awful the pouring rain was, how badly people drive these days, and so forth. As I sat stewing in a bad mood of my own making, I came upon a hearse a little south of Dover, DE. I was right behind the vehicle when it caught my eye. “It” was the American flag draping the coffin that the hearse was carrying. My heart sunk as soon as I saw it and I said a quiet prayer for the person who had died. My guess is that since I was so close to Dover Air Force Base, it had to be the remains of a fallen soldier that was being returned to his or her family here in the United States. In case you didn’t know, the remains of military personnel who are killed overseas are always returned to the United States by way of Dover Air Force Base.
I began to feel sorrow for the family of the fallen. I cannot imagine what they are going through. In a way, I felt as if it was my duty to follow the hearse instead of speeding around in the passing lane. So that’s exactly what I did for quite some time. After all, it was the very least I could do for someone who gave his or her life to defend our great nation.
I share this experience with all of you because it reminded me that sometimes we need to pause to remember what is truly important in the long run. Sure, the work we do in credit unions is important. Loan growth is essential, staff training is critical, and adequate capital is what the NCUA is looking for. So we have to be mindful of all of these things.
But we also need to be mindful that there are other battles being fought. Not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. But everywhere. Citizens of our country are fighting their own battles against poverty, unemployment, and foreclosure. In addition to our military personnel, let’s keep our credit union members who may be struggling in our minds and hearts as we strive to live out the mission and vision of credit unions.
Back to me driving behind the hearse…..suddenly, the rain didn’t matter too much anymore.