Celebrating Volunteerism

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

The motivation behind this week’s blog comes from my time spent this past weekend with JROTC cadets across the midwest states of Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri. [I promise to keep it short in the interest of everyone’s much needed Spring Break!] By definition, volunteerism is the use or involvement of volunteer labor, especially in community services. It may be a large assumption on my part, but many of the special programs, school functions, charitable and non-charitable community events we have grown to love and enjoy, would falter without volunteers.

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”
― Abraham Lincoln

This is probably a little more information than you’d like as a reader, but my wife and I once had to volunteer for our child to attend school. At the time I thought it was absurd to ask a parent to take time out of his or her schedule to volunteer over ten hours a month to the school, while managing a career, and raising two additional children. Little did I know then, that today, I’d hold that year in high regard, thankful my daughter had an opportunity to attend an extra year of school, without incurring any additional cost.

Imagine if the 10,000 volunteers [estimate from a 2014 article] didn’t show for the Boston Marathon. What if the local Christmas Toy Drive or Salvation Army had nobody to ring a bell. Where would we find ourselves? How would we help others in need? The short answer is…we wouldn’t. We need volunteers more today than we ever have.

I hate to sound like the late night, overpaid celebrity spokesman, but even a little bit of your time goes a long way. Do something memorable. Volunteering in my day consisted of your parents signing up for your favorite holiday party. That is not the case today, in fact, the opportunity is likely 100 times more! Volunteering has a long lasting effect and in some cases might be the therapeutic relief one may need. Even if it entails waking up at 5 a.m. to judge a JROTC Drill competition. There are endless opportunities. A superficial search will yield a handful of options. If you’d like a few pointed recommendations, please feel free to contact me. There is always some way to make our society better, while brightening the day of someone in need or delivering in some impactful way! Happy volunteering and I hope your Spring Break landed you some well deserved time off and family memories

P.S. If you haven’t already, go watch Captain Marvel! It’s terrific!

Fortune favors the bold

A colleague and I shared a conversation on our recent business trip to North Carolina and in our colorful one hour long commute we discussed the movie Bohemian Rhaposody, a blockbuster hit detailing Freddy Mercury and the band Queen’s rise to fame. Upon returning from the trip, my wife insisted we watch the movie. After an anxious two weeks, I could finally witness for myself what the rage was all about.

As I intimately watched each song surface, I continuously hung on Jim Beach’s comment, “Fortune favors the bold.” In case you are wondering I get hung up a lot, which is likely why I used it as the title to my first, featured article on Rambling with Rooster.

I’ll never be the figure Freddy Mercury or the band Queen went on to become and I believe Jim Beach’s line resonates with me for one large reason. I once made a bold move that would forever change my life, as well as that of my family.

You see, the fortune I sought was something different than that of a band in pursuit of their dream. Let me be honest, I can sing a mean Chris Ledoux and I routinely mess up lyrics but I wasn’t chasing the platinum or in the business of proving naysayers wrong. I was in pursuit of something exciting, new, and challenging.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The fortune I truly sought was a new world for my young family to grow and prosper. Unbeknownst to me at the time and almost two decades later, the fortune continues to pay dividends. Worthy of noting is that this is long before the mystical Rooster creature, or the disgusting, violent acts that occurred on September 11, 2001, and oh my, how that aforementioned bold move would try me for years to come!

Life is too short to wonder “what if” or doubt yourself. Hell, I’d argue you should never take no for an answer if it’s something you absolutely believe in. There are exceptions to every rule but ensure you understand why before settling.

“Be BOLD like a cicada – Pipe the heck up!!” 
 Maureen Joyce Connolly

Whether it’s fortune in the purest sense or good ole fashioned happiness, fortune does in fact favor the bold, especially when you are willing to take the risk. Twenty years ago, I didn’t think of this act as bold. I merely thought it was a means to remove myself from the West Texas grind.

Cadillac Ranch, Texas, United States
Photo by Matan Levanon on Unsplash

Without sounding like a broken record, don’t be afraid to jump in head first. The fortune continues to pay for itself today and the family has grown, developed their own personalities, and been front row for one hell of a ride. There are probably a million stories of how a young man left home, family in tow to start and pursue something new. I’m no different, except I used this bold move to jump start Rambling with Rooster. If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I hope it wasn’t terrible. I can assure you I am my most fiercest competitor and will strive to get better with every post.

Fortune favors the bold!