"'02": The Silver Lining

By Perry Isenberg

"'02": The Silver Lining

By Perry Isenberg

There appears to be a general sentiment out there that 2001 can't be left behind quick enough, and '02 can't get here fast enough.

I can't agree more. However, my reason is different than everyone who wants to get past 2001 because, all in all, it was a lousy year. (I know, there was some good stuff, too.)

Bring on '02 -- bring on the silver lining. At a recent seminar, time was devoted to remind the attendees to keep their profession strong, purposeful and effective. Attendees were given a handout that included the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

"Every person owes a part of their time and money to the business or industry in which they are engaged. No person has a moral right to withhold their support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within their sphere."

The statement has never been more true. I agree that people should support their respective industry associations. However, my thought is of our country as the association, and we as its members.

There are obvious contributors and contributions: the military; taxes; public and social services; etc. What about the rest of us? What can we do to help that has some meaning? How can we learn from the tragedies of 2001 and turn them into a silver lining?

Do we always need to see "bad" to really appreciate the "good"? Since 9/11, hundreds if not thousands of health professionals made their way to ground zero to help. Companies like ours sent product and financial contributions. But why do we wait? Is it the squeaky wheel that gets the oil?

Day after day, millions of North Americans live in "bad" conditions not necessarily brought on by themselves: disease, hunger, poverty, pain, etc. I'm not sure of this, but I think I heard more money was raised in 30 days as a response to 9/11 than 10 years of efforts to raise money for AIDS, cancer, and other charities. Again, I'm not sure of this, but it would not surprise me if it was true.

Each and every massage therapist who derives personal and/or financial rewards from massage is obligated to do their part to ensure that the industry grows, thrives and improves. When was the last time you attended a convention or conference? When was the last time you shared information with other therapists or the industry via letters to the industry publications?

We need to be proactive. We cannot wait until our respective industries start to weaken before we jump in to help. It may be too late. Unfortunately, we've witnessed a black cloud this year. If we learn a lesson, it should be one of proactive action. How many times do we need to be reminded that if we don't mind the store, the store will not succeed?

The massage profession has never been in such a good place. Don't take it for granted. Embrace and contribute; as Theodore Roosevelt urged, it is our moral obligation.

In the meantime, be healthy, be good, and stay focused and motivated, we'll talk again in '02.