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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Learning Things Without Intending To Do So...

I have been trying to figure out what to do with this for the better part of a week and have just now had the brilliant idea to start the writing process as I am struggling to keep my eyes open.  Today has been a long one for me, but I learned about how easily thought patterns become lost if not acted upon a few years ago, and have yet to let anything else slip from my conscience for the sake of laziness.

When viewing my blog on a computer or tablet (sorry smartphone readers) for the past few months, you will have noticed a little button on the top-right of your screen, sort of tucked away among my RSS, Facebook, and Twitter buttons, which looks like this:
That is a logo for a non-profit organization, which I mentioned a few months ago when I wrote a photo blog about my grandparents here  and the main website of the organization can be found here.

Caring Together In Hope hosted an event with a guest speaker/author/caregiver and I was invited to attend - which was also the first public event hosted by the organization.
Now, do I have any relevant experience dealing directly with Alzheimer's or Dementia?  Not that I can imagine, no.  However, anyone who knows me (or reads about me - shout out to my new Danish subscribers, by the way) is well aware of my thoughts on self-education and the importance I place upon learning anything and everything possible.
When you stop learning, you stop growing.
What you are learning does not matter quite as much as the fact that you are taking the time to live a new experience and have more knowledge floating around in your brain.  I went to this event because I believe in the cause of my best friend's family, and also because I wanted to have more education about the motives behind their message and purpose, but what I took away from the event was much greater than I anticipated.

The person who was speaking at the event is oddly not what I am going to address here, (but click this if you're curious) though she is a very motivated and intelligent communicator.  What I took away from the event was actually based more upon the family both behind the scenes and at the forefront of the cause.  You see, for the past year or so, my best friend and I have been talking on and off about Caring Together In Hope and we, in some way, always landed on the same topic of it being family-based.  The thing is, everyone within their family who were compelled to be involved did so and this first event they hosted brought in family from out of state to back up the cause - all for a few small hours in a conference-style environment.

I can tell you measurements and angles in carpentry, I can balance a budget, and I can also read automotive engine blueprints pretty competently, but estimating crowd size is something I cannot do because I lack the "eye" for such a thing, so keep that in mind.  The first CTH event attracted well over one-hundred people, by my shoddy guessing abilities and I imagine most of them were patient caregivers in some capacity or another, which is the basis of the entire non-profit.  Considering this organization did not exist a little over a year ago and this being their first public gathering, I would call that a huge success.
A success unreachable without people who feel passionate about the cause.
A success in this instance which would not have been possible without family.

The reason I mention this at all is because I understand the family demographic and my background is in working with the public.  With those years of experience, I can easily say that most families are pretty skewed and disconnected in pretty horrible ways.  Seeing this family and the way they came together to create something designed to help others in a stressful and taxing situation they know and understand, though?  Saying such is rare would be quite the understatement.  This worked though, and people are being reached in a positive way, just as their family intended when the idea first arose.

I come from a family (duh?) and we disagree with all sorts of things.  Actually, I am in business with my family, so the head-butting in some situations is inevitable, but nothing we are not able to get through.  Those instances are how certain relationships and all families are built by design or naturally, if you will.  Putting a few people into a room to discuss anything can be met with all sorts of opposition or points of view, but within those rare, caring families, there is always an opportunity for a good common-ground and big things can be achieved with enough focus.  This shows strength for a common passion and purpose and at the end of the day is what actually matters.  Maybe everyone does somehow get along though and everything goes off perfectly?  Well, I doubt that, but it is a compelling thought.

Have you ever seen a group of people who join together to use their individual strengths for a common purpose so well that you can almost see their personal motivation preceding them?  I did at the CTH event.
Those are the rare moments we should probably pay a little more attention to when they happen to us as individuals or anyone surrounding us.  We tend to be a little too distracted to notice smaller details like that these days and maybe we are missing some pretty great moments.

All I know is that regardless of the main focus of the event I attended, the reasons I admire my best friend's family so much were made even more relevant and solidified in my mind that night.
At the end of it all, people were reached, a message was shared, and a purpose was served.

This is why I admire them.
This is why I respect them.
This is why I will always have a link to their organization on this blog.

I believe in family.
Sometimes family goes far beyond blood.
That night, I learned about Alzheimer's and Dementia as well as taking in a little more about what it means to be passionate for a cause.
We can all use our individual strengths to create something with purpose bigger than us.
What are you doing to achieve that?

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers


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