Photo by: Norris Gagnet Photography
As we celebrate 95 years of JLNO impact, I’m struck by both the actual definition and connotation of the word. Pondering the meaning of “impact,” I realized that I often associate it with a singular instance. Indeed, when Googling the literal definition, I found impact is defined as “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.”
Yet, as I look through the amazing images of JLNO members and read about the activities from years past, I realized that we so often qualify and quantify impact far beyond that first collision. We are instead more likely to value impact by the ongoing reverberations and ripples that proceed — sometimes even going so far as to forget entirely that first point of contact.
Take a peek at the “Enhancing the Arts” article, for instance. Today, NOMA is one of the most iconic and beloved institutions in New Orleans. It is not only a stunning architectural gem, but is also a vault of invaluable art. Though generations of New Orleanians can identify NOMA, how many know the critical role the Junior League played in establishing its legitimacy? I certainly didn’t until reading Dr. Mayer’s article!
The truth is that not only did the Junior League contribute countless volunteer hours and guidance to NOMA, but we also bought a Degas portrait for the museum. Let me repeat that with emphasis: JLNO BOUGHT A DEGAS. I won’t abuse my editorial privileges here by using expletives, but WOW. Just wow.
Herein lies my point: while we might all love NOMA and the value it brings to our community, major points of impact were built upon one another to create this institution, and many of these points have since been lost in our collective conscience. In the end, it is less about the individual moments of collision but about the overall reverberation of our efforts that leave our mark on our community.
As we enter a hectic and exhausting holiday season, it is easy to once again focus on the singular moments of impact: the meal served in a homeless shelter, the teddy bear or bicycle donated to a child in need, the donation given to a favorite charity. While we can’t dismiss these individual efforts, don’t let them stand in isolation. Let 2019 be a year of not only celebrating how far we’ve come, but also a year of building on our JLNO success even further.
If you need easy inspiration, just read on!