August – Optimism... Better Together!
Happy August Optimist Members!
It’s August, and I am full of Optimism flowing over from the worldwide events held in July.

We gathered in Reno as Optimists to share, collaborate, fellowship, and make some hard decisions together, and we returned home stronger for it.

The Optimist International World Oratorical Championship was a massive success in St. Louis, Missouri awarding over $78,000 in College Scholarships Awards.  
  • Our World winner from the Gateway District gave us the perfect example of “Never QUIT!” She entered the oratorical contest 8 times…and until this year, had not won 1st place at the District Level.   
  • Second place awardee was from the “World Division” in Seoul, South Korea; 
  • Third place awardee was from Quebec, Canada.
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships hosted over 600 golfers and their families - Numerous success stories, including THREE holes-in-one.
Today….begins the month of August. It's Hot, It's muggy, it's exhausting. But it's the beginning of the month which represents a beginning, an opportunity to have a fresh start, and opportunity to address - what needs to be done now!
Optimist members will be gathering around our globe for District Quarterly Conventions. New leaders will be elected to further the Optimist mission into the future. There is much excitement and energy that comes when Members gather together for the cause.

As we go into these last couple of months during this administrative year, we must keep thinking about our "Why." The beliefs, causes, and people we're devoted to that drive us to make commitments in the first place. For some of us, it's fulfillment in raising a family. Others pursuing a passion. For most of us, it's about making the world a better place.  

Since I joined my Optimist Club 33 years ago, life has changed, the world has changed, and volunteerism, especially service organizations or being a part of a service organization, has changed. Our “Why’s” have possibly transformed into “What's”.
“What pulls you out of bed in the morning, thinking…LET’S DO THIS!” “What are you grateful for as you lay back down and reflect on your day?”  
Our purpose is defined in the hours between, and our Commitment is the glue that bonds us to our goals – it’s how we hold it all together.

August is when our students prepare to return to school, purchase new backpacks and school supplies, and attend band camps and football scrimmages. There is so much excitement about the new year – the new season. 
I read many sports articles, especially those focusing on Youth sports. I want to share one of my recent finds in a Texas Sports magazine. 

You should encourage your kid to play football because it’s Hard! Too many kids are NOT playing because it’s hard. Listen, it’s tough to wake up in the summer mornings and go to practice, knowing other kids are sleeping. It’s tough to put on pads, and a helmet in 95-degree heat in August (or if you are in Texas 100+) when other kids are at the pool and your legs are shaking from exhaustion. It’s hard blocking, tackling, and hitting kids who are bigger and stronger than you, only to leave practice with a dozen bruises, just to come back and do it again tomorrow. But guess what, life is hard, life is tough, and your kid will be a lot more prepared to take it on from the lessons he learned from football. Encourage them to play football – because it IS hard, and there is no success in life without hardship.”

I share this not to advocate youth football per se – but to encourage participation for the children and ourselves... and that can be the hard part. Juggling with home life, family, kids, church, and career – on top of our Optimist life. It’s all Hard. But it is all about commitment. And August gives us those opportunities to renew that commitment because our kids will need us more as they return to the classroom.

We get a fresh start, a fresh perspective of commitment, and with that - you may see how your actions serve your greater purpose.
 #OptimistInternational #BeAnOptimist #212OneDegreeMore #OptimismBetterTogether
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