I came across this anecdote from "When Life Hurts: A Personal Journey From Adversity to Renewal," by Rabbi Wayne Dosick. Although the event turns out to be an urban legend, I thought it was motivational, therefore worth sharing with you.
Childhood polio left Itzhak Perlman able to walk only with braces on both legs and crutches. When Perlman plays a concert, the journey to the center of the stage is long and slow.
Perlman was scheduled to play a difficult, challenging violin concerto. In the middle of the performance one of the strings on his violin snapped with a rifle-like popping noise that filled the entire auditorium. The orchestra immediately stopped and the audience held its collective breath. The assumption was he would have to put on his braces, pick up his crutches, and leave the stage. Either that or someone would have to come out with another string or replace the violin. After a brief pause, Perlman set his violin under his chin and signaled the conductor to begin.
One person in the audience reported what happened: "I know it is impossible to play a violin concerto with only three strings. I know that and so do you, but that night, Isaac Perlman refused to know that." You could see him modulating, changing, and recomposing in his head. At one point it sounded as if he were re-tuning the strings to get a new sound that had never been heard before. When he finished, there was an awesome silence that filled the room. Then people rose and cheered. Perlman smiled, wiped his brow, and raised his bow to quiet them. He spoke, not boastfully, but quietly in a pensive voice, "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."
What a powerful line that is. Perhaps that is the definition of life, for all of us, and not just artists.
And now onto ASHI business. As I visited several chapters this year, the following questions were raised: Is ASHI becoming less relevant in licensed states? Is ASHI becoming less relevant in non-licensed states? Is ASHI relevant at the national level?
Before becoming a home inspector, I worked for IBM for 25 years. IBM has had and still has a stellar reputation. It has stayed true to three core values: Respect for the Individual, Service to the Customer and Excellence Must Be a Way of Life. IBM stayed true to the core values, but it changed over the years as the environment changed. In the early days, IBM only rented its equipment; it did not sell it. For the historians in the audience, please do not bring up the detail that this change was a term of a consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and IBM. In the beginning, mainframe computers came with free software and Systems Engineering Services. Now, IBM earns more revenue from services than it does selling hardware.
As I have previously stated, ASHI should and will remain loyal to our core values and mores. At the July Board meeting, the Membership Committee, chaired by Scott Patterson, was charged with reviewing our membership categories and determining if we can improve upon our current structure.
We are not going to do rush to judgment and roll out a vote to membership about changing membership categories until there is consensus the change is good for ASHI. It is my hope that we can change the perception that ASHI is an organization that members have to jump through a series of hoops to belong and be accepted, to one where you incrementally earn your stripes. If an inspector wants to use the ASHI Certified Inspector logo, the inspector must fulfill the requirements of the ACI.
Conceptually, we need to recognize the state licensed home inspectors who have passed the proctored National Home Inspector Examination.
Why am I concerned about this now? Because we have a declining number of Associates year to year. The Associates are the new lifeblood of ASHI. If we do not change this trend, what will happen to ASHI five or ten years from now? Coming up with strategy is not easy. Coming up with a new strategy will need the support of two-thirds of the voting members who vote, with a 30% vote turnout.