Saturday, January 15, 2011


I learned a tough life lesson recently. My ego can get in the way of doing the right and generous thing.

I had volunteered to be the editor of the local monthly newsletter in our community. As someone who has been paid to edit professionally, I believed I had something to offer and it would be a fun way to get to know the community.

But there lies the problem. I was seeing the newsletter as an extension and showcase of my professional skill, without giving too much consideration to the volunteers who dedicated their time to producing the articles.

I am known as a tight writer and editor, and nothing changed as I sat at the computer to edit the articles. Well, not everyone appreciated my editing style and I have already had a run-in with one volunteer whose pride was hurt, when I changed what she’d written.

Not a good start. But I am paying attention to the warning signs. I recognize that if I continue on this path of perfection, I will soon be writing the whole publication myself.

So I am letting go of my usual standards and working more to produce a publication that is truly representative of and written by members of the community. And I am eating humble pie as I try to woo back my disgruntled writer.

Oh the joys of volunteering. I have a feeling I am going to learn more than anyone, and hopefully not always the hard way.

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