19 Dec 2012

“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by PRSA Chicago President Debbie Harvey, APR

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“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

With the year’s end closely upon us, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their participation and engagement in our PRSA Chapter. I began writing a different message earlier last week but time and current events have shifted my thinking, and I’d like to share the following  instead with you as I close out the year of my presidency tenure.

I think Robert Fulgum, author of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a genius. I think that our profession often forces us to forget to stop and smell the roses, to think (and sometimes perhaps behave) like a wondrous child, all googly eyes and agape mouths. I think that we, at the holidays, begin to remember the beauty of lives and loves and families, but quickly forget by winter’s end. I think the world needs more people to stand up for what they believe in, but to help find solutions rather than tearing one another apart. I believe communications is an important part of achieving all of this – for one another and for ourselves. I believe that communications can help move us, motivate us, enable us and comfort us.

I believe that communications has helped people who grieve – and are still grieving – feel they are not alone. The goals of communications should ultimately be to connect people, to influence behavior and mobilize people – whatever that cause may be. I hope this holiday season, each of you takes a look at how you are communicating – both professionally and personally. And maybe, perhaps just maybe, you could do a tiny bit more.

Our PRSA Chicago Chapter is growing, and we will be excited to offer new resources and new ways to get involved. I’ve enjoyed my tenure as the president this year, and am looking forward to continuing to serve in a different capacity. So, thank you for all of your engagement, all of your time invested to our Chapter this year. A particular thanks to my President Elect, Abby Lovett, Board of Directors and committee members who do indeed, realize the power of communications and bringing people together to learn from one another.

And so, I’d like to leave you with these parting words from Fulghum, ones by which we should continue to strive to live, and ones in which it is the children who remain our role models: Play fair. Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

On behalf of the PRSA Chicago Chapter, I wish you a very happy holiday season.

Debbie Harvey, MS, APR
PRSA Chicago President