Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning to Fly!

In a book published in 1970 by Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a bird who comes to believe that there is more to life than squabbling for food. He seeks to fly! He seeks to raise flying to a perfect art form and in doing so, to set himself and his fellow gulls free, free of the artificial limitations they have allowed themselves to become subject too. He meets resistance, from the flock and the elders.
" day, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, you shall learn that irresponsibility does not pay. Life is the unknown and the unknowable, except that we are put into this world to eat, to stay alive as long we possibly can."
But he persists, he learns How to fly, how to soar! He's set free from his old limitations.
 "How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there's reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!"
He goes about to teach others in the flock, but they resist.
"Why is it," Jonathan puzzled, "that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he'd just spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard?"
In the end he does reach them and they are set free.
"He spoke of very simple things –that it is right for a gull to fly,that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form. "Set aside," came a voice from the multitude, "even if it be the Law of the Flock?" "The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other."
It is a story of a bird learning to fly but it is much more, it is our story.
For so long we tried to survive. Get through the day. Get through the shift. To dream of more would only lead to disappointment. We established a culture of tolerance and acceptance of the way things were.
But the way things are is not the only way! Look what we have done at Backus Hospital in the past year. A small group believed that things could and must get better! They led us, they showed us, they made us believe! We are at that point, we must decide, do we squabble for food or do we fly!
We are the Backus Federation of Nurses! We fly!
How do we do that?
"The trick Fletcher is that we are trying to overcome our limitations in order, patiently, We don't tackle flying through rock until a little later in the program."
We each start where we are.
Not all of us are ready to be out front, not to worry, we have leaders. We start where we are.
We attend negotiations, we attend meetings, we get involved in our communities, we start to stand up for ourselves. When asked to support those who lead us we are there. In time, each in our own time, we will find our voice, we will learn to fly, we will be free.
This is OUR union.
This is our hospital.
This is our community.
This is our state, our country.
It is time for a new culture, a new way of thinking and acting, a time for involvement, a time for freedom, a time to fly!
This Wednesday is our next negotiations.  Join us!  Together we are strong!
We will present our proposals on wages this Wednesday.
October 15 we will partner with the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department in the Lisbon Public Safety Day at Lisbon Landing from 10-2.  It is an opportunity to help our community.  There will be many fire trucks, Lifestar, a live burn demonstration, and more.  Step foreword, help for a few hours, get involved!
I have included a link to the book in case you want to learn to fly.

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