Mae West Was Right

Author: Catherine Smith, CP3

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Mae West.

Too much good—is that even possible? I don’t think so. There’s always room for doing more good in our world, and especially at IAP2 USA where we teach people what good decisions made together means.

To do more good this year, we’ve launched our first annual giving campaign, funding scholarships for practitioners of all types. Our goal is to broaden our organizational reach by defraying the cost of our learning events for a range of deserving individuals. These funds will help them access our webinars, taster series, symposia, courses, chapter events, and annual conferences. 

The ‘why’ behind this goal is simple: Good public participation is a culture, a practice and a cause. These three factors—culture, practice and cause—continually reinforce each other. The stronger each is, the stronger it makes the others. As we step into the new decade of 2020—and confront the bundle of complex problems coming with it—we’ll need all three of these factors activated so that these complexities transform into good decisions made together. 

I truly believe we as an organization are perfectly positioned to do just that.

So, what does this giving campaign mean for you? Well, it means whatever you’d like it to mean.

To me, it means that each of us can be part of something greater than our own individual day-to-day concerns: My contracts, my projects, my clients, my, my, my. What a relief and how much more powerful to think in terms of “we” and “our.” This giving campaign means we can be a part of something larger. We can stand for something together. We can pay it forward. We can help someone who wants to do this type of good join us. We can know that when a community across the country works their way through to a decision that only they could have created, that we had something to do with it.

We can also know that:

  • We are bringing our country together around a set of Core Values
  • We can counter the story line that we are a country at odds by helping people know how to make good decisions together. 
  • We can be a mirror, reflecting out to people all the ways that good decision making together can look
  • We can rebuild confidence in people that they can in fact work together, decide together, be together.
  • We can start a new decade stronger than the last.

Take your pick or add to this list, but the main point is this—your participation matters. As it does in decisions you are part of, your part in this giving will create a stronger culture, a stronger practice and stronger cause.

So, you are ever-so cordially invited to be part of something good. And when you give, please remember what Mae West once said, too much of a good thing really can be wonderful.

Thank you for a great year together. Now, let’s make it an even better decade, together.             

May your holidays be bright!


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