I have a dear friend who, in the early years of his marriage, was convinced he and his family needed a four-wheel-drive pickup truck. His wife was sure that he did not need but merely wanted the new vehicle. A playful conversation between this husband and wife initiated their consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of such a purchase.
“Sweetheart, we need a four-wheel-drive truck.”
She asked, “Why do you think we need a new truck?”
He answered her question with what he believed was the perfect response: “What if we needed milk for our children in a terrible storm, and the only way I could get to the grocery store was in a pickup?”
His wife replied with a smile, “If we buy a new truck, we will not have money for milk—so why worry about getting to the store in an emergency!”
Over time they continued to counsel together and ultimately decided to acquire the truck. Shortly after taking possession of the new vehicle, my friend wanted to demonstrate the utility of the truck and validate his reasons for wanting to purchase it. So he decided he would cut and haul a supply of firewood for their home. It was in the autumn of the year, and snow already had fallen in the mountains where he intended to find wood. As he drove up the mountainside, the snow gradually became deeper and deeper. My friend recognized the slick road conditions presented a risk, but with great confidence in the new truck, he kept going.
Sadly, my friend went too far along the snowy road. As he steered the truck off of the road at the place he had determined to cut wood, he got stuck. All four of the wheels on the new truck spun in the snow. He readily recognized that he did not know what to do to extricate himself from this dangerous situation. He was embarrassed and worried.
My friend decided, “Well, I will not just sit here.” He climbed out of the vehicle and started cutting wood. He completely filled the back of the truck with the heavy load. And then my friend determined he would try driving out of the snow one more time. As he put the pickup into gear and applied power, he started to inch forward. Slowly the truck moved out of the snow and back onto the road. He finally was free to go home, a happy and humbled man.
For my friend, the load of wood provided life-saving traction. The empty truck could not move through the snow, even equipped with four-wheel drive. A heavy load was necessary to produce traction.
It was the load. It was the load that provided the traction that enabled my friend to get unstuck, to get back on the road, to press forward, and to return to his family.
In the business of politics (If insurance is your profession, politics is your business) we sometimes are like my friend stuck in the snow. We’re doing what we normally do, but no matter how hard the engine pulls we go nowhere. Often it is the fact that we are challenged with constantly changing rules and regulations from various government agencies and bureaucracies. We look around for solutions to those challenges but feel powerless because we are but one against the many, the powerful.
The solution to our problem lies in carrying a heavier load so we can get traction and move forward. It means carry more weight, collectively so we can make progress. Perhaps your IFAPAC truck is empty – you aren’t carrying enough/contributing enough (or at all) – and you need to do more to get more. I alone, you alone can only do so much. We, collectively can accomplish much more. Some are capable of contributing 1.00% of their income to further the causes of IFAPAC. While that may be a stretch for you now, there isn’t anyone reading this far down the column that cannot contribute at least $10 per month to help assure your future as an insurance professional.
Of the nearly 700 members of NAIFA WA, at least 560 are driving around with a light load. That means about 140 others are carrying the load and making things happen. Let’s even the scale and have at least half of our members contribute to IFAPAC.
We are heading into the primary election cycle and within 5 months we’ll have the general elections. Now is the time to contribute to the political action committee that represents you in Olympia and in Washington DC. If not you, who? If not now, when?
(Thanks to David A Bednar for the story about the 4x4)
Richard Ek, LUTCF
IFAPAC Washington Co-Chair