The One Conference by CUNA and WOCCU kicked off with over 3,000 attendees representing 61 different countries all gathered in Denver for one cause: the credit union movement. I always feel bit giddy about being at any conference, but seeing each representative walk through the theatre with their flag and to hear the cheers of people in crowd who have traveled across the world to be here… it’s a moment that you just can’t describe. There’s one key line that I’ve heard from various people now and it’s essentially that regardless of where you are from we are all still human, and that applies perfectly to the global credit union movement because we are all facing the same issues and need to work collectively to address them (not just note we have them, but take action as well).
Today, as the general session started, CUNA CEO Jim Nussle, gave a speech about the importance of advocacy, and he shared with us a metaphor that was absolutely perfect: imagine the credit union movement as a choir, each person has a voice, a tone, a style that is unique to them, but together, with the right music, the voice suddenly has a power and presence that an single individual couldn’t have; but it takes everyone singing their part for the choir to be successful. This movement is going to take EVERYONE so if you are sitting back and waiting for your league or the national associations to handle everything then you will be sorely disappointed the in the results. Personally, I think the word advocacy is daunting to some people. You might picture people who devote countless hours into fighting for a cause and you know that it’s not realistic for you, so you just decide to let someone else take charge, someone who has the time, the resources, etc. do it. Advocacy isn’t a one size fits all item though and something as seemingly small as sharing 1 single personal credit union story with someone can create a ripple effect that leads to a tidal wave.
Big or small, first world or developing, we work with credit unions because we have a passion for helping people. We make a difference in people’s lives every single day, there are people who you help accomplish big dreams, and there are others who you literally just help survive. It’s not bragging to tell those stories to others because it might be just the motivation they need to make a change in their life, it might help them realize that they aren’t alone in a certain situation, and it will provide them comfort to know that you have dealt with situations similar to or much worse than their current one, and when you provide a person with financial peace of mind… well, our choir will just keep growing and sounding more beautiful.
Make sure to follow along this week on social media #CUinDenver2015