Welcome to 2006! It’s amazing to think that another year has come and gone, but here we are, preparing for another year filled with trade shows (Yankee Dental and Chicago Midwinter are just around the corner) and product launches. What will the New Year bring? Who knows. After all, who would’ve expected Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to decimate the Gulf Coast? Who thought the Chicago White Sox would win the World Series? Every year, there are stories that grab the attention of every American. They are often unexpected but, when they happen, they are the stories that stay with us for a lifetime.
One of the things I always enjoy about the end of the year is the constant deluge of shows that “look back” at the big events of the year that is about to end. There are always moments that I have forgotten about, and others that I want to relive. There are plenty of stories that get way too much press (the Michael Jackson case comes to mind) and there are others that are significant to a generation and a learning experience for a new generation (such as the passing of Rosa Parks). There are also those stories that are never heard by the majority. They are the stories that may touch us individually, but are never told on a grander stage. Each of us can think of someone who inspired us last year with a feat of courage or a kind word, yet their story will never be told on the nightly newscast.
As much as we like to look back and see where we’ve been, it’s just as important to keep an eye toward the future to see the road ahead of us. With that thought in mind, what will 2006 hold for you? What will this new year bring for you, personally and professionally? What resolutions have you made for the year, and how many have you already broken? I’m not much on New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s college football bowl games? Yes. Making promises I know I won’t keep in the upcoming year? No.
A friend of mine in the dental industry shared this with me recently. I thought it was a good story to share as we begin a new year together.
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said the tree was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and fulfillment of your fall.
What’s the moral of the story? Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come. It’s a good lesson to remember as we head into the New Year. As a friend of mine used to say, “Walking through the valley is no fun, but it makes reaching the mountaintop that much sweeter!”
My hope and prayer for all of you is a better year this year than you had last year.
• A heads-up on something to tell your customers when you pay them a visit. In 2006, there will be a show created specifically for dental assistants - Professional Dental Assisting (PDA). Modeled after RDH® magazine’s highly successful Under One Roof conference for dental hygienists, PDA will focus on hands-on courses and lectures that will make dental assistants more proficient and more excited about their jobs.
Scheduled for May 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis, PDA is presented in alliance with the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). PDA will be a conference for dental assistants only, offering these key members of the dental office a chance to interact with other assistants and learn from some of the best-known trainers and speakers in the nation.
The registration fee of $195 includes receptions and lunches. It’s going to be a great meeting. For more information, call (800) 633-1681 or log on to www.professionaldentalassisting.com.
Read on, this is your magazine.
Kevin Henry, Editor