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For several days I have been trying to write the handout folder for the Spiritual Awareness Community of the Cascades. I was asked to do this little task by the acting President of this nonprofit organization because I am presently the acting Vice President of the group. The people who were being paid real money for doing this job and several other jobs too had to be let go because our organization has hit upon troubled times and our board of directors decided to cut our financial expenses to the absolute minimum. We decided to cut expenses down to the rent for a meeting place and legal insurance. Most of the hundreds of people who were at least minimally members of the group don’t attend meetings anymore, and over this last year, most of the essential officers of the group have resigned. It is very sad that such an interesting group has lost its flame.

My interest in this seemingly peripheral group in modern secular society is very keen because they do some strange things. Some of those things are not very connected to everyday reality, but some of them have been mind opening for me. For example, experiments on how people pay attention to one another and how that affects their communication are stunning, and I have never read anything in the standard research literature that addresses the aspects these people have explored.

The group was about to disband several months ago for lack of officers on the board of directors, so to save the group I very hesitantly volunteered. Once at the meetings it became apparent that I had to take over an office. I chose to become Vice President because the duties of that office were minimal. I didn’t want to have an important office which I was just filling in for a non-existent person so I chose an unimportant office.

One of the things that needed doing was creating the weekly program flyer and its wrapper. That didn’t seem like much of a task, but I was wrong. I realized that this printed document included several key elements for the creation of an organization that needed serious reworking. A “Vision Statement” for an abstract and general idea of what the organization was about and trying to do. Also, we needed a new “Mission” statement, which is a specific wording of the more concrete goals we were aspiring to accomplish. We needed some clearly defined artwork that would have an instant visual appeal and identity. As a marginally religious organization, we needed a prayer to set our agenda for a better life.

I presented what was nearly a finished copy of what I had in mind for these needs. The results were considered very good by everyone, but there were several repairs that were obvious to a concerned but fresh eye. People wanted to dither over those words, but I rewrote the text immediately and read the improved materials instantly. That procedure worked. As a rule, I would suggest writing what seems to be the correct wording and get instant feedback from the people who didn’t like the earlier wording. That functioned really well in this case because the changes were subtle but important in their nuance.

Be content with what you can do, but do it and get it into a completed format.

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