I was on social media the other day. Yes, I know what it is and even how to use it. I came across several postings about what Freedom is doing in the community and the partnerships we are forging. It reinforced for me that the direction we set for Freedom, the priority we place on people helping people, is the right path.
At Freedom, we do not aspire to be a multi-billion-dollar organization, put our name on a stadium or be on every street. We aspire to be in our community, serving, educating, volunteering; doing good because it’s the right thing to do. Of course, as a business, we want to grow and need to be financially successful, but those are a means to an end. Real success is our ability to give back and put people first. That’s the choice we made to answer the question, “who are we?”
In the end, it’s all about choices; those we make, and those you and our community partners make. I don’t think people realize that something as simple as their choice of where to bank, and who they deal with, matters. How just normal banking and other interactions with Freedom benefit them and their community.
The cooperative spirit on which we were founded is alive and well here. It can be seen in our people, our volunteerism, our philanthropy, even our investments in Freedom itself. Therefore, it’s up to each of us to let you know. Not by just saying it, but by showing it. After all, actions speak louder than words; louder than ads and clever slogans. We should encourage you to choose to be part of Freedom; to be part of something bigger, not just something big, because the benefit of doing so is more than meets the eye and goes farther than you may realize.
Long ago I reconciled with myself the fact that I don’t know everything. When we’re younger a lot of us believe we do, but at some point reality comes crashing in and the light of truth shines right in your face.
Conversely, there is a lot I do know and what I know, I know well. And that’s ok. I know you know a lot and you know some things that I don’t know. And that’s ok too. Then there are times when nobody knows anything and we’re all looking around at each other trying to figure things out. And ya know what? That’s ok too, because we all know stuff, we’ve all had different experiences that created that knowledge, and that means we can all help one another at some point.
We can all be patient with one another as we learn, exchange ideas, think things through and work together on a common goal or purpose. They say knowledge is power and while that may be true, I think the sharing of whatever knowledge we have or can gain is the real power.
That’s why I talk about teamwork so much. That’s why I talk about collaboration and ideas coming from everywhere and anyone. The free flow of ideas, the exchange of varying opinions, the sharing of experiences all create a stronger bond and greater success. Finally, I also know that knowing doesn’t mean being right. We may know something and learn what we know wasn’t correct or that our idea isn’t the best one at a given moment. That does not mean the input was unimportant. Even in those instances, there is knowledge to be gained and cultivated.
You may wonder why we are so committed to our philanthropic endeavors. Why we focus on outreach and the good we can do for our members and in the community. Why our strategic focus is about experience and doing what’s right. Why our goals are set to generate the financial stability and income necessary to support our philosophy of people helping people. Well, I was recently watching a program on Netflix called, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. In it was a quote I found quite poignant and an applicable answer to those very questions.
“A species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality. If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us. It’s now time for our species to stop simply growing, to establish a life on our planet in balance with nature. To start to thrive.” – Sir David Attenborough
Change a few words and…
We can only thrive when everyone else around us thrives too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality. If we take care of others, others will take care of us. It’s now time for us to stop simply growing, to be something bigger not just something big, to establish a balance with our community and start to thrive.