The better question is, “Who doesn’t have time
for that?” The organizations that serve the orthotic and prosthetic
(O&P) community are often referred to as the “ABCs” of O&P.
There are many fine organizations doing wonderful deeds. Among those are ABC,
AOPA, AAOP, OPAF, NCOPE, BOC, ACPOC, ISPO and NAAOP. This list includes just a
few and does not intentionally leave anyone out. All of these, and many more,
do a very good job of keeping our profession moving forward.
Rather than just using my own words here, I am going to
quote some American presidents who have already contributed some very memorable
words. Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to
change something.” We owe a debt of gratitude to the people who have
graciously volunteered their time to the many organizations that make up the
ABCs of O&P. These people are involved in making changes, which
occasionally also leads to making enemies.
However, if we truly want to affect change, we need to
get involved. Theodore Roosevelt stated, “The only man who makes no
mistake is the man who does nothing.” Certainly, sitting on the sidelines
means that we will make no mistakes. Everyone I know who volunteers their time
for the O&P organizations does so for the greater good of the profession.
Yes, sometimes mistakes are made. That is unavoidable because each of us lacks
the ability to accurately predict the future.
If you are known for complaining about the way things
are going with any of the organizations trying to prepare the profession for a
better future, I encourage you to sit back for a minute and look closely at
things that are being done. Lyndon Johnson once reminded us of the importance
of this by saying, “You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when
More accurate words have never been spoken. So many
organizations have volunteers who are working diligently to ensure that any
changes within the profession will make us stronger. With the budgetary crisis
facing our nation, this is a huge challenge. Changes are coming. Jimmy Carter
probably said it best by stating, “We must adjust to changing times and
still hold to unchanging principles.” By volunteering even a small amount
of your time, you can help to influence how things will change over time. Your
opinions can help to guide the changing times of O&P with unchanging
I am among those who believe that the best days for our
profession are still ahead of us. Each of us will have to work harder and
smarter if we are to reach our goals, but by working together to affect change,
we can accomplish the things that need to be done.
What works for our country will also work for the
O&P community. We have to maintain a positive attitude and work hard to
affect change. Find time to give back to the profession that has provided you
with the means to earn a good living. The final words here are those of Ronald
Reagan: “If anyone tells you that America’s best days are behind her,
they’re looking the wrong way.”