New Orleans 2006

In our lives, we must occasionally break free of the idea that our best days are only in the past. When I look at this picture I see the love I have for my wife in front of the backdrop of one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the United States.  This was taken on a trip to New Orleans in the midst of Katrina cleanup.  It was one of the most real times of my life.  While I didn’t enjoy the painfulness going on around us, I felt more alive than I ever had.  I still live it out in memories.

I’ve been looking through Robert Dale’s To Dream Again. I have loved his bell curve for years.  In the life cycle of any organization there is apparently a point where we grow nostalgic.  We clam up and hold tight to what worked in the past.  We can even grow prideful and protective over any past successes.  I was talking to a friend recently about how difficult this is to break free of.

The challenge for people is actually to begin creating the new nostalgia.  The new things that, years from now, will be successes that can be told as legends.  Then it can be said, “Wasn’t that great when we were a part of ______x,y,z______?  It was incredible, right?  Aren’t you glad we have moved forward and onward since then?”

Creating the new and future nostalgia, in any group that has existed long enough to have an older nostalgia, is obviously very difficult. This difficulty shows how much the tide goes against changing beloved traditions or ideas. This shows exactly why it’s important to be open to new and wonderful opportunities.

Let us not get caught up in the idea that our best days are behind us.  Let us consider the multitude of things that need to be done to help others now!  There are natural disasters, those suffering from depression, and children in slavery.  There is so much incredible work to be done in the service of others.

So, maybe we should go…. and create the new nostalgia.

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