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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday - November 20, 2020

“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.” - Rensis Likert

This was a challenging and eventful week that will go down in the books as a positive one. We pulled off our Leadership event mid-week, it was a resounding success. Thank you everyone.

I am grateful for our small team at PRO-A, Patti and Vickie, our Board, our steering committee and everyone who made this event possible. I am grateful for our speakers. I am grateful for our sponsors and advertisers. I am grateful for those we honored and their remarkable work. I am grateful for everyone else across Pennsylvania who do the seemingly Sisyphean work of helping people out of addiction and into long term recovery.

You are my people.

A number of years ago, I read a study on the substance use workforce and the unrelenting challenges it faces. It was called “the toughest job you will ever love.” We see and experience terrible things on a daily basis and work in systems that can make helping people akin to pushing water up a hill. Nothing we do is easy, yet the things we do are vital, save lives, families and communities. If you do this work, I value you. Thank you.

At the end of the event on Wednesday night, I reminded everyone in attendance of a man named Harold Hughes. In his own words, he was "a college drop-out, a drunk with a jail record," He was a truck driver from Iowa who went on to be the 36th Governor of Iowa from 1963 until 1969, and a United States senator from Iowa from 1969 until 1975. He embodies the recovery movement and what we know as “better than well” the post traumatic growth dynamic of recovery. I reminded attendees that every single thing we have in our substance use care system – including federal funding, state funding, local funding and the laws across the country that serve to help people came from the blood, sweat and tears efforts of the recovery community. In many ways, Senator Hughes helped save my life and millions of others by elevating our issue through his position in the Senate. He was elemental in creating our federal block grants in the early 1970s that I used in the mid-80s. Thank you sir.

Not bad for a college drop out truck driver with a record.

Just before the event, I spoke with a person who had the good fortune to meet Senator Hughes and work with him. I cherished hearing about how he looked at a federal bill, marked it all up and then turned around and used his significant influence to help it get passed.

Thank you sir.

Please share something here that you are grateful for.

Also, I suspect that there may be people on this feed who met Senator Harold Hughes and had the opportunity to work with him. If so, please share a memory, it would be greatly valued.

Be safe and stay grateful, even for the challenges, they may be hidden gifts.

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