• Serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties
December 31, 2010 tanderson

This is a tale of two cooperative employees at opposite ends
Talking of their work upon which each livelihood depends
Co-op principles in hand, walking and talking to their vehicles one day
One well into life’s plan, the other new and learning the way

One through six are easy to understand, nothing really to “get”
But on seven, concern for community, the younger one was starting to “fret”
Interest was evident by the furrowed brow and the perplexed looking face
The work is for the co-op, how did the whole darn community invade this space

With a smile, the voice of experience reassured that it was not a big task
It is just doing the little things at times regardless if someone should ask
Hanging Christmas lights, picking up some trash or coaching your kid’s team
Often on your own time, away from the job, rarely to be seen

Fight a fire, be a big brother or sister, change a tire or simply walk in a parade
The time is short and most likely a difference will be made
Become an EMT, donate some blood, deliver a meal to an elder shut-in by the snow
Look in the eyes of those you help, the reward is in their glow

Young one asks, “Won’t management get the credit and give nothing to me?”
After work, I have friends, family and fun places to be
My time away from work is mine and mine alone
I need to camp, shop or just be at the tavern…my other home

I don’t want to be different or stand out from the group
I want to be included with those I work and not left out of the loop
It’s not in my employee manual, contract or job description
If I do too much for free, it could become an addiction!

The veteran in a more serious tone, begins to explain the reasons to do more
The opportunities to experience life behind many a different door
It is not about the credit or the spotlight shining on just one
It is about making a habit of getting good things done

Concern for community is work that you can share
Ask family, friends and co-workers and I am sure they will be there
Set an example for your kids, show them what they can be
For you are the map they follow on their journey across life’s sea

It is a chance to see your co-workers after hours in a different light
Together building trust, loyalty, pride–qualities often there but out of sight
You must give to others, those things you most want, a wise man once said
This I believe because a paycheck will not remember when you are dead!

It is true that this concern is not in a contract, manual or any other page
It is a way of living that simply creates your story on life’s grand stage
The two now stood in agreement at their cars on that cooperative parking lot
That the rainbow’s treasure is not the gold but life’s good deeds placed in the pot

My hope is that those who choose to hear will take this message to heart
Make it more than a job, create a way of life…it’s never too late to start