Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 April/May IFAPAC Report

Volunteers are really the back bone of a society or association. Volunteers, like heroes, give of themselves freely for the comfort, safety and freedom of others. Volunteers are not made up of a certain class of people, a particular race, a level of wealth or lack thereof. Elizabeth Andrews said that, "Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."

(l-R)Drew Hooper, James Scott,
Glenn Stocker, Ken Beers,
Richard Ek in D.C. representing
the 8th Congressional District 
There have been thousands of communities formed since the beginning of time and how civil they were might be determined by how they cared for each other; whether there was love and humanity there. Were there heroes and volunteers in their midst? Someone asked the anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978), "What is the first sign you look for, to tell you of an ancient civilization?" The interviewer had in mind a tool or other artifact. Ms. Mead surprised him by answering, “A healed femur. When someone breaks a femur bone, they can't survive to hunt, fish or escape enemies unless they have help from someone else. Thus, a healed femur indicates that someone else helped that person, rather than abandoning them and saving themselves." I would never have guessed that a healed femur was a sign of a civilized community and/or even a significant find for an Anthropologist.

Many great civilizations recognized in history are great because of their wealth, their great cities and expansive borders. Their greatness, whether short or long lived, usually came about because of a strongman (dictator) who forced them to greatness, not by volunteerism. Their greatness was not often based on humanitarian orientation but usually by their power to conquer weaker communities and by maintaining their control by cruelty and forced compliance. There are not many societies recognized for their greatness because of the goodness of their leader(s).  Fortunate are we to live in the one country on earth founded on personal freedoms and unequaled opportunities. Fortunate are we to participate in a noble profession that serves others and freely shares good ideas. Fortunate are we to be involved with the premier professional organization that reaches out to safeguard the families and enterprises that make up the fabric of the nation.

There is a Chinese Proverb that states, "When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others." I believe that every member of NAIFA feels that something of great value has been shared with them and that by volunteering, as they do, they are fulfilling their moral obligation to share it with others. Another possible explanation as to why they (members) volunteer was described by Antoine de Saint-Exupery who said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Members have an understanding of and long for their destiny (immensity of the sea) and so they willingly become involved (volunteer) for the greater good and destiny of NAIFA and its members.

Over 1,000 NAIFA volunteers met in Washington, D.C. early in April to discuss with legislators how important the work we do is in the lives of their constituents. They reinforced the benefits of life insurance, annuities, long-term care and retirement plans. They were there to defend your career and mine. Not every NAIFA member can traipse across the country, leave their family and business for a few days and walk the halls of congress. Thanks to those who do! But every member of NAIFA can volunteer to help the cause by participating in IFAPAC. Every member can afford to share $10 - $25 per month to make sure our message is taken to the men and women who have the power to enact either good or bad legislation. We need the help of every NAIFA member and we need it now.

How does NAIFA motivate that many people to be volunteers? They are volunteers with heart!

Richard Ek, LUTCF

IFAPAC Chairman

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