What’s in OUR Name?

In the last edition of the Observer, I posed the question: WHAT’S IN A NAME? I wrote my impressions of what a name can mean and what possible implications are in a name. Now, let’s examine what is in OUR name. Therefore, my next questions is: WHAT IS IN OUR NAME, THE SOCIETY OF EXCHANGE COUNSELORS? What does it mean? How do we acknowledge and manifest it? How do others perceive it?

The Society of Exchange Counselors (S.E.C.) has been around going on 45 years. Over that period of time, OUR name has been literally spread around the world. Because of that, and for our own self-examination, I want to dissect OUR name. In that endeavor, I will dedicate this, and the next two articles to understanding OUR name. In order to analyze OUR name, let’s separate it into three components, 1) Society 2) Exchange 3) Counselors. The first component I will deal with is Society.

Just what is a society? According to the dictionary, a society is, “a formal association of people with similar interests; a body of persons associated by their calling, interests, etc; those with whom one has companionship.” Synonyms such as fellowship, association, friends and community are used. But, I want to continue to drill down on the definition of OUR name in order to hit bedrock as to who and what we are through the filter of OUR name-The Society of Exchange Counselors.

I assert, as many of us believe, that the Society of Exchange Counselors is more than just a “society” as defined and explained above. We transcend the word society. In many respects, we are a family! I believe that most of us who have been Members for an extensive period of time think of the other S.E.C. Members to be part of their extended family. There is trust, commitment, loyalty, cooperation, dedication, brotherhood and sisterhood, camaraderie and love that fills the air when we assemble, either at a marketing event or more casually.

I am not so naïve as to believe that there are not issues as exist in any family. But the strengths and positive characteristics in the S.E.C. far outweigh the shortcomings and frailties. This sense of family vs. a society is a dramatic shift for Guests and others to understand from what they first perceive is represented by OUR name. Guests have often expressed that what they have witnessed and experienced at a marketing session far exceeded their expectations and initial impressions of what the S.E.C. was all about.

I guess if Richard Reno and the rest of our founding “fathers” had thought about it, we would be the F.E.C., FAMILY OF EXCHANGE COUNSELORS, rather than the S.E.C. Nevertheless, we are who we are, and as a matter of fact, I like it that way.

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