PAABA President’s Address – December 2012

One aspect of this office that I really enjoy is the opportunity to meet with PAABA members. The perspectives on our bar association vary as much as our members do. To some, we are an institution, a well-oiled machine that sends out notices almost too frequently. Others view us as a grass roots organization, addressing the needs of the community. Many think our niche as a local bar snuggles us anonymously between two large counties and we miss out on all the politicking. Others marvel at our address, believing we have access to unlimited power and influence.

The various assessments represent facets of PAABA, to a greater or lesser degree, and at different points in time. Each assessor also reveals something internal, something about his or her past, in making these assumptions as well. Even if it’s a complaint, I am relieved to learn of our relevance, that we mean something. We can act as home base, the parent, the foil. Of course, nothing too extreme would be preferable, since we neither work miracles nor plot schemes, but it is just as we interpret home, and all the people in it.

Everything — people, memories and places — that hold significance will be multi-layered with meaning. PAABA wants to be that important to our members. However, unlike true familial units, we must all take equal responsibility in creating meaning for ourselves and for each other because the one thing PAABA’s existence is not, is automatic. Our events, our networks and meetings are a direct outgrowth of our members’ interests, and change over time as we all change.

This winter, celebrate family and rest; eat too much and sleep in late. Then return to the fray with your energy and vision, and watch the tapestry alter yet again.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!

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