The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

LET THE PAST FLOW THROUGH YOUR FINGERS...


I once held many thoughts as gold within my hands - more precious than the air that I breathed...
I watched my accomplishments shine - rivaling the sun with their brilliance…
I hid behind them – holding them up to the world – to hide my shortcoming and inadequacies.


While we all face distractions and disappointments throughout our lives, holding onto what “once was” rather than reaching out for “what could be” is a recipe for disaster. Things once held as valuable slip from our grasp as we grow older. A bright and shining future put on hold because of “global competition.” A secure job ripped from us by the economy. A relationship tarnished by an unanticipated action (or an uncontrolled reaction). Life happens…how we react to it can either advance or stagnate our existence.

I reach out blindly, searching desperately for and grasping onto what once was but shall never be again…
My memories became as but water running through my hands - unable to be contained as they flowed through the grasp of my fingers…
My thoughts provide but a flickering light within my darkened world – a dim presence incapable of providing the fire that once filled me.


We can become absorbed by “what used to be” rather than seeking out “what is” or “what could be” when we live in the past. Far too many individuals seek comfort in the belief that they will “be called back to work shortly” rather than seeking a new beginning or that “things are bound to change” rather than initiating actions that will make change happen. We stagnate ourselves (and those around us) when we establish our value within the things we once did that were successful rather than in what might be possible from this point forward – when we create our identity from “what we were” rather than “who we are.” Seeking comfort in what once was may not be a fatal flaw – but finding shelter from our present reality within the confines of the past will prevent us from ever reaching our full potential.

Life has but birth as a beginning and death as an end - forcing us to travel upon an endless circle of circumstance as we seek meaning to the existence flowing through our fingers…
We must build upon (rather than clinging to) our accomplishments if we are to identify possibilities not yet realized…
We must acknowledge the security our past once provided is gone as new opportunities flow from our hands like a river’s water into a never-ending sea…
We must sail into the unknown horizon leading those willing to follow as we wait for those not yet willing to let go of their past…
We must open our hands to let go of all that has been so we have room within our grasp for what has yet to be.


Though our parents and grandparents may have found security within the four walls of one company or had one home their whole life, few of us will experience life without unexpected or unplanned change – with change being the only certainty in life. People anticipating change intentionally set their course knowing that much time will pass and many considerations will flow through their fingers before anything if accomplished. Since you cannot hold back the waters as they flow through your hands – hold onto the hope that your dreams provide!