During the 1970s my wife and I were deeply involved with the Tacoma Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). Tacoma was a great chapter and most of my friends were members. After all these years I can still recite the Jaycee Creed. We ran projects that helped Tacoma and Pierce County . . . and beyond. A member and his wife from Minnesota moved here after visiting the area for the Jaycee National Conference in Seattle. Soon John Trueman and his wife Karen were also deeply involved in our community.
John became president and soon volunteered to start a new chapter in Silverdale. He had a few people in that area ready to join. We needed twenty members to start a new chapter. I raised my hand when he asked for volunteers to go door-to-door in a Silverdale neighborhood.We were welcomed into homes and backyards.
As the two of us drove to Silverdale one Saturday morning, I casually mentioned that I hated going door-to-door. Soon we were knocking on doors and telling young adults (men 18 to 35 of age) about Jaycees. We were welcomed into homes and backyards. When we finished in the afternoon, we had enough interest from the people we met to hold a meeting for the potential new club.
On our return to Tacoma, John confessed, “When you said that you hated going door-to-door I was devastated. I thought we were doomed. I thought I would have to do all the talking, but when we met people you jumped right in and gave them reasons for joining and encouraged them to sign up.” I looked at John and laughed, “I said I hated it, I didn’t say I couldn’t do it.” Eventually, John was able to form a new chapter, the Silverdale Jaycees.“It doesn’t matter how cold the water is if your goal is to cross the river.” – (Photo source: panoramio.com/photo/110503883)
In life, we can’t just do the things we like; we have to do things we don’t like and often hate in order to succeed. One of my favorite quotations is “It doesn’t matter how cold the water is if your goal is to cross the river.” I don’t know where I read it, but it sounds like classic Roman or Greek phrasing. And the adage is so true. There are things we just have to do. My wife Peg once asked why we were working so hard on a project for a client and I said, “One: I promised I would meet their deadline. Two: They already paid us. Three: We’ve already spent the money.” “Ahhhhh,” she said. We crossed the river.
Ken Karch says
How well I remember the JayCee Creed and the work we did years ago on the other side of the country (Glens Falls, NY) when we sponsored the Punt, Pass, and Kick event for youngsters. Nothing there to hate doing.
We’d do well to remember the six Creed elements given today’s circumstances. One of a short list of useful guidances for living your life (the golden rule, Ten Commandments, Bill of Rights, etc.).
Don Doman says
Thank you for reading and commenting about the Jaycees. It is amazing that after all these years I can still recite the Creed . . . it just pops into my mind at different times and situations. We drank a lot of beer, but did so much good for the community and enjoyed the company that we kept. My wife has been in Tacoma General for the last few days (home again, now) and it brings a smile as I walk through the lobby that one of our Jaycee projects is mentioned on the walls in thanks for the quarter of a million dollars that the fun event earned. I’m glad to see that you did much the same as we did while having a great time. Thanks, again for reading and writing in.