Gene's Note: Be the Change

I have always believed that a positive purpose and optimistic outlook can lead to a life of fulfillment. Unfortunately, through the news and social media, we are often reminded of tragedy and dissent. I witnessed the other day that a single voice with a positive purpose can be the change we all need. The change that will return respect and civility to our disagreements. The change that will allow us to work together as partners as we build thriving communities through respect and kindness.

Just a few days ago, I was copied on an e-mail chain that started with a simple concept from a 3rd grade teacher. The concept and the lesson taught, “When Words are both True and Kind they can Change the World.” So, while it was not an assignment… it was just a “component of the classroom culture” that encouraged students to share their thought with a relevant audience.

For this third grader, the relevant audience was Rogue Credit Union. Her note simply said, “Thank you for being a great bank.” Her note arrived at the credit union in our Operations department, and since it was not addressed to anyone in particular, it could have easily been pushed aside. However, our Operation’s team at Rogue would never allow a heartfelt note like this go unrecognized.

So, they all gathered together to write a note back to this third grader. They recognized in their handwritten note how happy the message of thanks made them. The return note supported the teacher’s message about the power of “kind” words and how the third grader’s message made a bigger difference than she probably realized. However, the last words in the note made me pause and might have even made me choke up a bit (maybe…) The note from our staff to the third grader ended with this sentence, “Be strong, Be confident, Be the change that this world needs. Be kind and Be true.”

OK, I will pause as you wipe a tear from your eye… But the story doesn’t stop here. When the Mom picked up her daughter after work recently, the daughter said she needed to show the Mom something in her backpack… and it “absolutely could not wait.” She told her Mom that she wrote a letter to the credit union and how they had written her back. What made this mother daughter story so special is that the Mom is an employee of Rogue Credit Union. The Mom shared with staff at the credit union how the message had made such a positive impact on her daughter.

I happened to be on an e-mail chain sharing this special message and was touched by how the care and concern of a few can multiply so quickly. Soon several staff members and leaders at Rogue Credit Union heard this story of how one good thought could be magnified with other good thoughts… Now, a simple thank-you from a third grader has the opportunity to reach 120,000 members through this message.

This message of hope from our staff to this third grader and power of positive purpose is so important for all of us today that it bears repeating…

“Be strong, Be confident, Be the Change this worlds needs!”