Clyde's Corner on Volunteerism

A Tip of the Hat

Does adversity and facing challenges make us stronger? Clydes Corner A Tip of the Hat Feb 8 2013
How does adversity affect your ability to conquer your obstacles? When tough times push hard on your goals and aspirations, how do you respond? When the not-so-pleasant-or-perfect situations tax your strength and spirit, how do you react?

It’s a not-so-perfect world sometimes. We  Business Continuity Planning (BCP) folks have an inner strength that transcends the issues that may befall our organization or our staff.  We carry on when we may be personally challenged and impacted by the same incident from which we are striving to recover our business.

Have you had situations where the disaster is personal before it’s professional? Have you had to rise above and manage to satisfy your personal needs; then those of your family and community; and finally, those of your company? Have you and your committed, dedicated colleagues pooled your strengths, calmed each other’s nerves, and worked hard to perform the role of business continuity manager?

I have been very lucky to meet some really inspirational people in my travels as trainer for DRI, BCM manager, and active member of my community. So many of the amazing people I have had the honor to meet have worked through major incidents and outages and been assigned to dangerous places to help those in desperate need. Some of them have served our country proudly, with dignity, class, and heroism in the military, FEMA, HHS, as CERT, or in an OEM. How do these seemingly ordinary folks perform with such efficiency and clarity when bad things swirl all around them? How do their valiant actions inspire? How do they put their emotions in check to venture forward? What do we see in their behavior that inspires us to be more, to be better; to be equally valiant at our jobs and in our home lives, with our personal challenges, and the big and little things that cross our paths on a regular basis?

To the helicopter pilot, the recently retired servicemen, the guy who’s traveled to the most dangerous places after major disasters; to the people who counseled the families impacted in Newtown; to the people involved in creating Tuesday’s Children; to the people who organized volunteer efforts after Sandy; to my neighbor and survivor of the Holocaust and Viet Nam; to my buddy who travels to impoverished nations to preach the gospel; to the woman who left the dangers of her home country to find a new life elsewhere; to my friends who tirelessly create fund raising concerts for those in need after disasters; to photographers and TV reporters who risk their lives to bring us the honest news; to the leader of a foundation whose mission is to help women in need around the globe; to the brave men and women who help to rebuild communities and the spirit of those affected; and to those who are seriously ill and press on without complaint: I tip my hat and give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all you do. There is something special in you…something extraordinary.  Your deeds and hard work serve as shining examples of the goodness, caring compassion, capability, and resiliency that inspire the rest of us to do more and work harder. Your achievements and acts of kindness in the hardest of times inspire me to set aside small issues and be more.

For all of you who are BCP professionals who step up each time you respond to an outage; for all of you who strive to protect, recover, and preserve the viability of the entities you serve: Thank you for your commitment and courage. For those of you who go towards the fire when the rest of us go the other way: Thank you. How is it that you forge onward to help where help is most needed? For the many that I have met on my BCP journey: Thanks for helping me keep all things in perspective. Thank you for providing clarity and keeping the lights on when all around us seems dark. Your ability to help others while balancing life and family is truly the mark of real professionals and special people. My hat is off to you.

Have a great week,
Clyde
cberger@driif.org
Vice President and Director of Volunteerism
Disaster Recovery Institute International Foundation

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