Promise Yourself

“Promise yourself – To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.” – – a phrase from The Optimist Creed.

Seems like a nice thought to start the day – the way I did this morning when I joined the Elkhart Breakfast Optimist Club for their weekly meeting to present an update on Wellfield Botanic Gardens; what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed this year. The Club’s creed contains ten phrases, promises to oneself, that can help make you – – and the world around you – – a better place. Such a positive group, full of energy at 6:30 in the morning!

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of giving hundreds of presentations to various groups around the country; from audiences of hundreds at international conferences to handfuls of folks at the community level – all are equally enjoyable and beneficial. It all goes back to that thought of believing in (and contributing to) the success of others, as the phrase from The Optimist’ Creed exemplifies. It’s about getting involved with mutually beneficial relationships that make our world go ‘round. Whether you’re a volunteer, a small business owner, or even the director at a not-for-profit botanic garden, the mutual respect and support for YOUR community is a certain key to success for all, and ultimately furthers the goals of the business and Mission alike.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens is living proof of those community ties, the relationships with the people, businesses, and other not-for-profits who believe in and share our Mission to celebrate the inseparable relationship between water and life, inspire creativity and lifelong learning, foster stewardship of our natural world, and grow community. Growing Community. One of my personal favorites and one of the primary reasons I became involved at botanic gardens so many years ago. The ability to educate and connect people to their environment – an environment that includes their own community; an environment we share and must nurture. It’s because of this community, its residents and businesses, and service clubs like the Elkhart Rotary Club who truly BELIEVED in the vision and hope that Wellfield represents, that a 36-acre ‘living museum’ shines brightly on North Main Street. As Wellfield continues to grow, its Mission not only serves the needs of the community, but the broader region of which we are a part. Success should reciprocate success to others. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Good words to live, work and play by.

Have a great week,

-Eric Garton
Robert and Peggy Weed Executive Director
Wellfield Botanic Gardens