Good Advice from American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan

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                                                                                       Photo by Tod Martens
2017-2018 American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan                                                                                                                  

Think of how many valuable innovations we have today because someone tried again … maybe tried even more than twice. Light bulbs? Phones?

More importantly, think of the connections to people that could be missed because we didn’t make that second attempt to reach out to a person and show some understanding or compassion.

Sometimes, making that connection can be difficult due to someone else’s bad attitude or ill will. We may find that among people who are in the same organization as we are!

In these instances, consider this advice — centered around creating goodwill, countering ill will, and connecting to people — offered by The American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan, also a longtime American Legion Auxiliary member:

“There are veterans I’ve met who are kind of sour or grumpy. And, your initial thought is, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be around that person just because they have a negative attitude.’

 But sometimes, if you sit down and talk to people, you may realize what they’ve been through in their lives. They may be war heroes, and they may have this grouchy outlook on life just because of what they’ve been through. I’ve experienced that more and more as I’ve traveled across the United States.

They may be sitting apart from the crowd. Just take the time to talk to them. There’s usually a reason and you can usually break through that shell. We just need to take the time to listen to one another.

Again, there’s that theme of Family First. We, all people, are put on this earth to take care of each other. Let’s do that. Let’s start by taking the time to talk and to listen to one another — that includes the sour ones and the grumpy ones.”

Commander Rohan is right. And if it doesn’t work the first time, wait a while and then maybe give it another try. Ultimately, we should use our best judgment; we don’t want our well-intentioned efforts to come across as harassment.

But consider where we’d be if people did not make second attempts. Not only might we be without many creature comforts of the modern age, we could find ourselves with fewer connections to people. Then, we’d really be in the dark and disconnected in a world filled with bright lights and fancy phones.


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