The other day I heard a man give a little talk about roots, what they do for a tree, and what they do for man. Roots are essential for the nourishment, growth, and strength of a tree and anchor it in strong winds and storms. It is the same with man's spiritual and emotional nourishment, growth, strength, and endurance. I honestly believe that so many people today, both young and old, are swaying and blowing over with the slightest wind because they have no roots. I also believe that this is the deep down reason why so many of us are actively searching our roots. And more people are joining our numbers every day.
When I stop to ponder, I am amazed at the amount of time and energy some my colleagues in the state society and in local societies around the state spend on furthering the cause of family history research--not just for themselves but for hundreds of people they have never even met. This thought always seems to hit me hardest when we meet together, and I hear of all the trials of daily living that are occurring in their lives. I am so thankful to all of you who "keep on keepin' on" inspite of illness, broken bones, family deaths and other problems. The work we do locally and in the state society is so important to so many people who are trying to establish those roots and to those who some time in the future will realize that need. Why do we continue inspite of all kinds of adversity? Because we are commited. Unfortunately there are some among us who feel too burdened with daily living and either drop their memberships or become inactive in their societies. Commitment is a choice. If you believe that facilitating people's ability to "grow roots" is as important as I do, that indeed it plays a key role in a healthy society, you must choose to commit. When you sincerely make that choice, the problems of living may slow you down or temporarily delay you, but they will not stop you.
In the latest issue of the FGS Forum Curt Witcher talks about commitment, and I'd like to relate some of his thoughts. First, he doesn't just say "commit"; he says "commit to action...Take just a little action and make a difference." 1 He gave six areas of action that are important for a committed and therefore successful society.
I am grateful for Curt Witcher, his commitment to action, and all he has done for the genealogists of the world. In addition to all the hours he logs on our behalf, he is perhaps our greatest cheerleader. Ponder the importance of roots to a tree, to man, and to society, and choose to commit to action.
Pat Thompson, President, MSGS