Nov. 2, 2012: Think what can be accomplished when we work together, by Patricia Gerhardt

November 2, 2012 by

It was an honor to be invited. And I was going to make every effort to make it.

My niece was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and she invited me, along with everyone else viewing her Facebook page, to an educational program sponsored by her breast cancer support group.

The room was full. Young and old, male and female, patients, doctors, nurses, technicians, family members and friends. We were all gathered there together for one purpose: To learn more about this awful disease and how to support our loved one who was living with it.

The brave women talked first — those just diagnosed and beginning the siege of treatments, others who were presently undergoing treatments, and, finally, the survivors. These were the women who had “been there/done that.”

The doctors spoke next giving the latest information on this dreaded disease and what was being done to combat it.

There was laughter and there were tears. But, most of all, there was hope.  Together, we were a team, young and old, male and female, medical professional, patient and everyone else — all gathered together to fight the mighty war against cancer.

As I watched and listened, I couldn’t help but be impressed.

These ladies — these brave women willing to share their stories — didn’t pull any punches. Neither did the crowd who asked questions or the doctors who spoke. Fighting cancer is not pretty. But it’s not an individual sport — it takes a team of dedicated individuals all working, giving and sharing.

Life’s like that.

While we can go it alone, so much more can be accomplished if we’re working with others with the same goal in mind. For instance, a football team may have an outstanding quarterback, but he’s not worth much if the rest of the players don’t do their part.

Work places are like that. Work doesn’t get done if there’s continual backstabbing with everyone only working for him- or herself and not the common good. Classrooms are like that. It only takes one disruptive student to ruin a teacher’s well-thought-out lesson plan.

The base word in Concordia is “concord,” which, by definition, means “harmony.” We live in a town whose very meaning means working together.

Think of the residents of Concordia as one big team. If each individual were to offer his or her own unique strengths and talents for the betterment of the town, just think what could be accomplished! Whether it’s rallying together to support our local businesses, for improved health care facilities, bringing new economic opportunities to town, or even just doing our part to get to know our neighbors, we can make Concordia an even better place to call home.

I’ve no doubt that with all the concerted effort going into finding a cure for breast cancer, that someday we’ll no longer see that diagnosis.

And, I believe Concordia can be a thriving community for future generations. But it does and will require us to work together.

— Patricia Gerhardt, a member of the Year of Peace committee, is a Family Consumer Sciences extension agent for Kansas State University — River Valley Extension District.





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