Brian Magness

Brian Magness
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Between the Lines November 2019 issue

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What it Means to Be a Volunteer

By Brian Magness

Merriam-Webster defines it as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service”. Hmmm, how about ‘Voluntarily’? That is defined as “proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent”. Wikipedia states that ‘Voluntary Commitment’ is “the act or practice of a person admitting themselves to a psychiatric hospital, or other mental health facility, voluntarily”. This sounds more like the definition that applies to us, right? What does being a Volunteer mean to you?

We are in this organization to be a part of something that not only protects our rights and privileges but the rights and privileges of countless others.We are a unified, organized and coherent voice for Pennsylvania motorcyclists. We embrace that and feel great about it. Some volunteers get really excited about it and are sometimes told to calm down. Why? If people are coming on too strong about their particular passion, especially inside a like-minded association, it should be considered a good thing.Volunteerism is what fuels our organization and we can’t run without it.

Proceeding from the will or from one's own choice…” Even though you are urged to be registered voters and participate in the political process, ABATE doesn’t require its members to satisfy anything except their yearly monetary obligation.  However, just about every member gives more than what is needed to keep us strong. Some step up as Officers, at every different level. Some give their time and help out at every single event. Some show their commitment by attending every monthly meeting. Some you will never know their level of dedication because they do it in the background where no one sees. Others continue to show their volunteerism by continuing to renew their membership. Whatever your level, know that you are a part of providing a needed and important service for others.

Just like in any other organization, ABATE does have rules for behavior that it expects their members to adhere to. These are spelled out pretty explicitly on the back of the Yellow card and in the COPs. We are only volunteers but we should feel obligated to uphold these standards. Some “volunteers” just aren’t cut out for that kind of commitment. Some “volunteers” find it more productive to question everyone’s actions, criticize them and convolute them into something malicious. We all need to understand that positive volunteers do the things they do because they truly care. They do these things without hesitation or personal consideration. What sort of person would question that kind of integrity? Maybe they are not the type of volunteer that is doing our organization any good. Sometimes, even the best volunteer has a bad day.

Albert Einstein quoted, “Only a life lived for others is worth living”. Apparently, good ole Albert didn’t ride a motorcycle but his quote rings true. To simply say “they are just trying to help” doesn’t even scratch the surface of commitment for MOST members. Feel proud of what you belong to and it will show when talking to others whom you are volunteering for. Try to talk them into becoming a volunteer. It’s nice to feel a part of being responsible for the changes we have made in legislation as well as the education and community services we provide. Share this feeling with prospective members. You might be surprised at their “willingness to undertake a service”.

Peace and Ride Safe.


Numbers Are In…

Down… That’s where the numbers are since the October edition of Between the Lines. This relates to the numbers from Statewide Membership totals for the beginning of October. As you might be able to tell, as an organization, we depend on numbers and the support from those numbers. We all need to figure out what creates the upswings and what triggers the downswings. So, here’s the rundown.

October total, at the time this report was generated, is (5811). From Sept. to Oct. our numbers are down by (68)!!