Author: Campbell, Bruce

Pebbles and Twigs

With regards to my weekly (weakly?) columns, my dear colleague Rick Cornish filled in for me last week, since I was selfishly on vacation. I explained my situation to Rick and he generously offered to help out. It was a minor miracle Ė I should show you the email he sent in response to my request for a week off Ė it would melt your heart.

Then, after 6 or 7 days of being really and truly incommunicado (a rare event in this modern world!), I re-emerged and began the work of sifting through the hundreds and hundreds of emails that filled my Inbox. You would think I was the most important guy in the world, by the sheer volume of emails!

Alas, the folks that seemed the most bent on contacting me were purveyors of male enhancement products and various and sundry international royals who wanted to give me millions of dollars. But one email DID catch my eye.

I saw an email whose subject line indicated that the communication was in response to the monthly E-Nouncements I send out. This isnít unusual, I get several emails each month, telling me of updated email addresses, and correcting factual errors in the E-Nouncement. But this one was different.

The sender thanked me for the message and told me how long he had been coming to the Fatherís Day Festival (considerably longer than me!), and offered to volunteer his time to help the CBA! Such a simple offer, and yet so sweet! I brushed away tears of emotion and directed him to the volunteer page on the website and provided contact information for Deb Livermore. I also thanked him profusely, and let him know that he was making a difference.

How can one volunteer make a difference, considering all the work that is involved in keeping the CBA running? Itís a simple matter of mathematics, folks. If there are 1000 jobs to do, and this kind gentleman does one, then the burden is now only 999 jobs. And that makes everyoneís job a little easier. The benefits of each volunteer create a ripple effect that helps EVERYONE in the organization. The jobs vary wildly in the physical effort and time demands, but every single one is important, and every new volunteer means the remaining jobs will be done little better, and a little faster.

Picture a nearly dry stream, just before the springís first rain. Itís weak, and has to rout itself around every twig and pebble that impedes the streamís flow. Finally, thereís a sprinkling of rain, and a little rivulet forms and adds its energy to the stream. More rivulets form and they, in turn flow into the little stream, which begins to pick up speed. Some of the pebbles and twigs that were forcing the water to find a new path are now swept away by the growing current.

Eventually, the river becomes swollen enough that it makes the evening news, and 2nd tier reporters on the TV news will stand, soaked in their slickers, showing half-submerged stop signs and showing threatened bridges behind them, in the glare of the camera lights.

Now, I am NOT proposing we wipe out any bridges. But the CBA can sure use some more rivulets to help this organization push away the twigs and pebbles in our path. We donít need to conquer the world, but we can provide an awful lot of pleasure and value for our members, if we get more volunteers like the gentleman who emailed me recently. Yes, we always ask for volunteers, and no, itís NEVER enough. But we all want the organization to continue, and we want to help present the music we love to its fans, and nurture more fans along the way. You can help create this flood. Volunteer, even if itís only a few hours at a time, whenever you can.

Posted:  1/13/2010

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