To Everything There is a Season

Myrdin Thompson, RESULTS Louisville Volunteer Leader and Former Organizer
October 28, 2014

Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

This word has been appearing quite a bit in my life recently. As we all know, transitions are often filled with a mix of anticipation (the wonder of what will happen next) and fear (of what will happen next). For instance, we know that at this particular time of year due to changes in the weather, leaves will be transitioning from green to gold. That is a wonder to partake in. We also know that at this time of year many politicians will be either voted to stay in office… or voted out. And that can make many of us nervous as we simply don't know what will happen next.

But transitions can also be deeply personal, which is where I find myself with RESULTS.

Let me explain. In March my mother passed away. This was unexpected and I have found that a great deal of my time since then has been spent managing her estate which is out of state for me. As many may know, navigating the legal system, especially long distance, can become a full time job. While my RESULTS family, particularly Meredith Dodson, Jos Linn, and Kathy Martino, have been incredibly supportive of my needing to focus on family issues, it was becoming apparent to me, that I was losing my ability to focus effectively on a job that I love for an organization that deserves one-hundred percent of my effort.

So, in order to help RESULTS to get better results, I have chosen at this time to step back from my role as a staff person and return to my role as a volunteer advocate.

I remain very proud of my time with RESULTS, for In my short tenure as a grassroots organizer I have:

  • helped to cultivate leads and build advocacy relationships in Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and West Virginia;
  • helped to strengthen a partnership between Circles USA and RESULTS, and encouraged participants to lend their voice to a national call to end poverty; and
  • helped train and mentor first time advocates as they journeyed to Washington DC to engage in conversation with members of congress and coalition partners.

I have also met with leaders who advocate to end poverty, such as Muhammad Yunus and Tavis Smiley, leaders who work in DC to address their constituent’s concerns, such as Cory Booker and John Lewis, and been able to build strong working relationships with my own members of Congress, Representative John Yarmuth and Senator Mitch McConnell.

And while all of these meetings are the ones that perhaps attract the most press coverage or get the most shares on social media, and are the meetings I am most asked about when speaking about opportunities that I connected with through RESULTS, the meetings that I reflect upon most in my time as a servant-leader with RESULTS are the ones with RESULTS volunteers that may have started as a presentation at a group meeting or a chance encounter at the International Conference, which went from a sharing of information to a sharing of friendship and working collectively on causes that are most important to our hearts. To list everyone would mean that I would forget someone, and truly, everyone I have met is remarkably memorable. Trust me, there is nothing more rewarding than attending a meeting with a RESULTS volunteer who has found their voice and speaks loud enough that they are able to "gently shake the earth."

But now it is time for me to transition out of one role within RESULTS (as staff) into a new role (as volunteer) and I look forward to the next chapter in my tenure with RESULTS, excited about continuing to engage as a volunteer here in Louisville with our growing group, and expanding it within our community.

 

I truly believe, as Margaret Mead said to, "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." In fact, working together, that's how we get RESULTS.