Workers' Compensation

Voice from the Chair – by Jack Goodchild

Happy New Year!  WOW!

While I presume that after an extremely stressful 2020, we all looked forward to and hoped for a less stressful 2021, what we have been experiencing instead is an extreme surge in COVID-19, a political mess and an unprecedented attack on our Capitol and our democratic system of government. I am not a psychic, but my intuition tells me that we are in for another very stressful year as we deal with all that has led us to this point.

Instead of being able to let down our guard we are faced with multiple threats to our health, our safety and our peace of mind. While it seems that this situation will last forever, there are lessons that we can learn and which we can apply in our lives going forward.

These lessons include being technologically prepared to deal with disruptions to our court systems and our ability to work as was previously possible. They also include learning new ways to take care of both our physical and mental health individually and as a community.

However, most importantly, we should take away from all of that which has occurred and is occurring that we cannot stand alone.  We need one another. We lose the essence of what we stand for as a nation and a people when it becomes normal to see one another as enemies.

All these lessons apply to our form of government and to our community and field of practice as well. When we see ourselves as sharing a common purpose, we can work together to achieve resolution and equity. Even when we can’t agree on specific issues, we can honor our roles as officers and patrons of the court. This means practicing in an ethical and competent manner. By giving priority to our integrity, we can all be proud of the roles we play each day. Our system, like our democratic form of government relies upon good faith and adherence to the underlying principles upon which it is based.

There are, of course, many other lessons we are learning these days. Family and friends have become more important than ever. Most importantly, we have been reminded of the fragility and impermanence of life. Our days are finite. It is easy to forget this fact in the rush of everyday life. Making our lives and the way we live them count is a value worth aspiring to. I hope we will all take this to heart in the coming year.

One way we can all act upon this thought is to give back to the community we make our livings from. Our committee lives this goal and invites our entire community to participate. Attend our educational events. Volunteer to speak. Become involved in community outreach. Write for our publications. If you are even more motivated, apply for membership on our committee. We invite your participation. Reach out to us. We are each an important part of the whole. Together we can work for the common good!

I wish everyone a safe and healthy new year!

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