Peer Into The Past

After a round of handshakes, the chairman asked, “What color do you want us to paint the apartment?” The apartment to which he referred was just beyond the office door. We were to reside in the recreation-center building as part of our remuneration. I never decided if this was a bane or blessing! It was, however, a certainty that it helped us to bond with the youth.

If you are wondering what principle is to be gleaned from this story that could possibly be of any use, let me take a stab at it. So many people are somewhat modest and timid about extolling their capabilities and know-how. Never be backward about telling others at appropriate times about what you stand for, and what you believe in.

In interviewing for a job or promotion, stand up for yourself and don’t be bashful. That is the time to show confidence in who you are and what you believe. You will find that your audience is expecting a lot, but what will impress them the most is … confidence.

Serving Others

Never underestimate the value of your influence. After more than 50 years, Darlington “youth” (now 70+) still call me and occasionally visit us, or invite us to reunions held at Myrtle Beach.

Serving People

So many people in various disciplines continually look for ways to serve others. People who work in park and recreation don’t have to search for such opportunities. That’s built into our jobs. We have possibilities laid in laps every day. The challenge is to take advantage of them.

I’ve learned over these many years that influencing the lives of people in a positive way has a lasting effect … and it’s so much fun … and it’s rewarding to one who has reached his 83rd birthday.

John Davis, after earning a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York in 1957, became the director of parks and recreation in Dalton, Ga. In 1963, he was chosen to head up a new state agency, The Georgia Recreation Commission. Davis served as associate director and director of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for three years. In 1976, he became the director of the National Recreation and Park Association where he served ten years.

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