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Thursday, June 02, 2011

I wrote this article for the December 2011 Buzz on Biz.


I've been writing this column for the Buzz on Biz a couple of years now. So I hope my editor (and you readers) will indulge me as I stray off topic. My wish this holiday season is that our world be more like the YMCA.

Specifically I wish for our world to be more like my experience at the Wilson Family Y. For many years now I have been working out very early in the morning at our Y.

Here is my observation. At our Y there are people from all different demographics of age, race, and national origin. Some are blessed with earthly riches, others are on scholarship to afford to be there. There are elected officials, stay-at-home parents, business owners, teachers, preachers, firemen, pharmacists and doctors.

But it is not the diversity of demographics that impresses me about this group. It is their spirit. People speak to each other. If you come a few times regular attendees will introduce themselves to you. The front desk staff greets each person, not with a mandated corporate greeting, but personally as an individual. Casual acquaintances become close friends who pray for you when you need it.

The Y is not utopia. There are disagreements and hurt feelings. But in my experience disputes are quickly resolved and forgiveness freely given. Only the best of intentions are assumed.

All too often our society is about dividing people into groups and then telling those groups why they should not get along with each other or work together My friends at the Y only have one thing in common--a desire to live a healthy life. With nothing more than this and the resolve to get up and do it while other are still snug in their beds, they have formed a community that proves the pundits wrong and flies in the face of the naysayers and dividers.

So my prayer for this holiday season is that our world, and specifically our community, be more like the Y.

DISCLAIMER: In the interest of full disclosure I must inform our readers I serve on the Wilson Family Y board of directors, teach classes there and represent the Family Y as their attorney.

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