The world is forever changing. Our personal environment is shaped by our decisions, our involvement with people and how we interact with each other.
We never know how our lives will change, sometimes it is for better and sometimes it is for worse.
Sometimes change is imposed upon us, disagreements and arguments cause change.
When a change is imposed on us through a situation which is beyond your control, there is initial anger and sadness. Leaving a project which has personal links and means so much to you is a very hard thing to do. Your mind is in turmoil, can you continue, can you put up with the constant infighting, the constant problems caused by ego's and opinions?
When the trust in you disappears, then you know that it is time to move on. As soon as you realise that this is no longer the case and small groups are being formed by board members discussing business items with no proper structure, then you realise that you are no longer needed and no longer trusted.
You have to balance your health, your well-being and that of your family. When you have put your heart and soul into a project, undertaken thousands of hours of work over many years, can you just walk away? Do you let the people who do not share your passion push you away by their actions?
Many people want to do good, they are kind people who will help in anyway, they want to be involved to help the cause and will go above and beyond for the cause. There are others who want the title, want the recognition, but are not prepared to put in the time and effort needed for their position. 'I haven't got time', 'I didn't realise it was that much work', 'I cannot do that job', are all excuses you hear everyday.
When accepting official positions, people must realise what they are undertaking, the responsibility that comes with a board position, what it means, what the constitution means and how laws affect the running of an organisation. We all make mistakes and we are all passionate, but do not take on a role that you are not prepared to put 100% into.
It is easy to say 'I can help', but then when it comes to actually helping, to be absent and not help is not beneficial to the organisation. When helping an organisation, we must remember the cause of the organisation, no one person is bigger than the cause. Remember why you are stepping up and undertaking a role.
It doesn't matter if you have a personal connection to a cause, millions of people volunteer their expertise every day. If you have gift to give, then do it. If the recipients do not want the gift, walk away and give it to someone else who will be grateful for it.
There will be fallout, questions, accusations, messages of support, anger at the departures, but the organisation will survive, it will hopefully continue to serve it's members and beneficiaries.
A lot has happened in 4 years, you become stronger, more determined, people try and topple you, discredit you, make false accusations and try to stain your character, but the cause is what matters.
When you look back and remember the good times, the members who are no longer with us, there is disappointment that the overall aim to get recognition was not completed and that you left before the job was done. There is disappointment that you did not achieve the final goal, but you know that you achieved a lot and have left the organisation with hope of recognition and with more awareness than ever before.
Boards change, personalities change, but remember the cause, support the cause, it is the beneficiaries that matter the most, these are the people who need the help and are looking to you to provide that help. When you see the smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries of the work, you will realise that it was all worth it.
You realise that without the constraints of the organisation, you can do more for a bigger audience, you can achieve what you set out to achieve without the bureaucracy, the ego's, the infighting and the constant mediation that you were undertaking. You can channel your efforts any utilise your time more efficiently and help more people.
We all need to work together, move forward and continue to fight for recognition. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a passion, use it to ensure that the Veterans and their families are not forgotten. This is what our small group will be undertaking, using the expertise of the people, helping organisations across the world.
As my grandmother used to say "You are only here for a visit, make it a good one!"