I recently had the pleasure of celebrating my grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary. It was a grand event -- particularly the lively, music-filled open house with their old friends, acquaintances and the requisite relatives as well.
I was most struck by three distinguished and somewhat reserved gentlemen who attended. I had never seen nor heard of them before the party.
My grandfather was thrilled to see these old guys; it turns out that they were members of his profession of pharmacy! I found out the story after the cake was cut and the musical program of original piano compositions and favorite opera songs were performed. He had hired one of them right out of college to work for him, about 40 years ago, and the others were in his local professional organization.
That party renewed my own enthusiasm and energy to devote to AAPG and DEG. I have now seen tangible evidence that my professional associates will become my lifelong friends who will help me mark my passage through this life, as did my grandfather's colleagues.
I often tell my grandparents when I go to various conventions for AAPG-DEG purposes, and my grandfather recently shared his enthusiasm about his own experiences with NARD, the National Association of Retail Druggists. He attended the annual conventions in warm and exotic places like Miami and Phoenix for continuing education purposes and meeting up with friends.
He recollected that he received much more out of belonging and giving his time and energy to the organization than the dues had ever cost him.
He also encouraged me to keep active in my own profession. The old guys at the party proved that professional associations are indeed personal and lifelong.
In his younger days, my grandfather was a fairly ordinary guy. He owned and worked at a large retail drug store, had two kids and liked to boat and fish on Lake Huron in his spare time. He also found time one year to be a local president of the county pharmacists' association, and to belong to a local civic organization.
He led an active life, as we all do today, and he still managed to give back some time to his profession. He was plenty busy, but he managed to volunteer some of his limited time to take continuing education classes, to mentor others and still live life to the fullest.
I am challenging myself to give back more than I get from all the various associations I belong to, and that list is long. I am a joiner, as you must be, too.
Perhaps if we all gave a little back, our Association would be a lot better for everyone else -- and we each would be better off as well.
The DEG is becoming an exciting division for the AAPG, and we are attracting a lot of interest from members and non-members worldwide.
I am convinced, as are many others in the AAPG, that environmental considerations are already ubiquitous in exploration and decision-making for exploration and development of energy resources. The DEG has room for those of you who have the foresight to increase your working knowledge of the environmental components of oil and gas exploration, minerals development, water resources and resource sustainability.
There is something we all share as geologists, earth scientists or geoscientists, if you are so inclined: It is our knowledge and passion for the Earth and her processes.
There is nothing better than going to a new outcrop, or peeking over the shoulder of a modeler at a workstation, or arguing over a cross-section interpretation with someone who has a similar or greater level of interest and understanding as you do. It is equally thrilling to introduce the science to someone who can get excited about the Earth as they begin to see and understand natural processes they had not before known about.
I hope you are able to share some of your enthusiasm about the glorious Earth with someone else today! You never know who will help you celebrate your own lifetime achievements, far in the future.