It was twenty years ago that the three of us were invited to the lake home of a fourth friend for the weekend. We had gotten to know each other at work and as we became more than just colleagues, we decided that a weekend getaway just before school began would be a great way to start the year. Little did we realize just how important that weekend time would become to each of us.
While we certainly played and had fun on those trips to the lake, we also problem-solved work situations, celebrated the coming of grandchildren, and comforted each other when our lives got rocky and difficult. We have become life-long friends, not just because we worked together but because we shared the same passion for our work. We did our best to make a difference in the lives of students, teachers and parents. Our work was often demanding but we kept at it anyway because we were committed to it and we knew we weren’t in it alone. We had each other.
This year we decided to celebrate our “20th” year together by going on a trip. Another special co-worker from our “school days” had recently moved to Charleston and when she learned that we were planning a trip together she offered to put us up at her house and show us all the beautiful and interesting sites in Charleston.
So, that’s what we did. We all flew to Charleston two weeks ago and had a fabulous time. We saw a plantation, rode the carriage around the city, ate delicious southern food and sat on the beach with our toes in the sand. Just what you would expect.
Except for the night we started talking about the immigration issue and the separation of children and parents. Remember I said the four of us were passionate about helping kids? Well that passion was also shared by our hosts. So when we all started expressing our concern about the situation, we agreed that there must be something we could do.
So we brainstormed that night and talked about it again the next morning. We decided to focus on three ideas:
- Develop an online presence to search out resources and find like-minded people who also feel a need to do something.
- Develop materials or host webinars to help parents understand some of the issues children may experience because of their separation from parents.
- Possibly raise money that could assist with aspects of the search and reuniting of families.
Shared passion for making a difference in people’s lives doesn’t stop when you retire. It may seem like its gone underground for a while; but it often resurrects itself to take on new issues. In those short five days all six of us experienced the camaraderie of renewed friendships and the exhilaration of taking a stand on something important.
Shared passion, shared beliefs, and shared commitment creates exponential possibilities. Let me know if you would like to join us.