The Patient is Not Responsive…
A friend of mine passed away recently after a long illness. In the final hours of his life, my friend was slipping in and out of consciousness. As the family gathered to say their final goodbyes, the siblings were concerned that one son would not get home in time for my friend to be cognizant and recognize him. Hours before the son arrived at the hospital, my friend slipped into what the doctors thought was a final coma. His family tried to speak with him, but the doctors pronounced him “unresponsive.” Finally my friend’s son arrived and walked into the room.
“Dad,” he said. “I’m here. How are you?”
My friend opened his eyes, recognized his son, and asked “What are you doing here?”
The family was thrilled that my friend recognized his son one last time before he passed away. They told him that despite all their efforts they could not get him to respond to them.
My friend looked at them and said: “That’s because no one said anything worth responding to!”
Is there a lesson in here?
Can we all learn something from this experience? Are your insurance products hitting the mark with members and prospective members? Are they being marketed by professionals that understand and embrace the fraternal advantage? Are your member benefits worth the price of admission? Do your fraternal activities engage members and prospects and deliver meaningful value to your community? In short, is your society worth responding to?
A Rose by Any Other Name
Is it just me or do those non-profit cooperatives that are being discussed in the debate over health care reform sound an awful lot like fraternal benefit societies?
As you know, I spent most of last week on the West Coast visiting family and recharging my batteries after the NFCA Annual Meeting. Here are some tips for those of you who might be considering a trip to the central coast…
Where to stay: We stayed at the Marriott in Monterey for two reasons. First, it’s a great location within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. Second, I had thousands of Marriott frequent guest points to burn and it made the trip much more affordable. There are hundreds of accommodations to choose from on the Monterey Peninsula, from four-star hotels to bed-and-breakfasts. But it’s hard to beat “free nights.”
Breakfast joints: In Monterey, go to the Old Monterey Café, just a couple blocks from the Marriott. Have the huevos rancheros and you won’t be disappointed. In Carmel, try the Village Corner. No kidding, I had the best omelet (the Acapulco) I’ve ever eaten.
Dinner joints: Da Giovanni in Carmel. Intimate, family run, fastidiously fresh ingredients. The fish I ordered was swimming in the bay that morning. Monterey Fish House also has great seafood. It’s crowded, noisy, and there are no bay views – but the food is worth it.
Just for drinks: Rocky Point south of Carmel. Have drinks and appetizers on the deck and watch the sun set in the Pacific. Look south toward Big Sur and you’ll no doubt have the “what do we need to do to live out here” conversation with your spouse.
Walkabouts: Spend some time walking around Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. And don’t forget to explore the commercial wharf next door where the real fishermen work. Some good lunch spots and places for really wonderful smoked salmon (mixed in with the usual tourist traps and gift shops). Take a look at the statue honoring the fishermen who fueled the area’s economy. One of those was my uncle – Mario Lucido – whose family helped commission this incredible piece of art. Cannery Row has some nice hotels, but it is mostly for tourists these days. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is definitely worth visiting. Carmel is full of elegant shops for those who like that type of activity. The best walk ever is the path that runs from Lover’s Point to Asilomar along the coast in Pacific Grove. And if you go all the way out there and don’t spend at least half a day walking around Point Lobos State Reserve then you’ve missed one of the most spectacular landscapes on the face of the planet.