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Op-Ed: New Arlington Chamber Chairman Implores Members to 'Pay it Forward'

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The following opinion column was submitted to Patch by new Arlington Chamber of Commerce Chairman David DeCamp.

For my initial opportunity to write in this space I will open with a theme to help us all thrive.

Be attentive, wherever you are, for opportunities to help another chamber member.

Imagine the power of this pleading.

If each of the hundreds of Arlington Chamber of Commerce members helped just three other chamber members every couple of weeks the results would be huge and powerful. Multiply this kind of goodwill and imagine how it will come back around.

We can help our friends accomplish their goals. And people who care about us would have our backs and help us accomplish our goals. To be more specific, we can use our personal and professional relationships to provide a warm introduction and endorsement for a colleague. We can each eagerly agree to give informational interviews to chamber members and their recently graduated children on a job search. We can buy our everyday consumables and our once-in-awhile goods and services from fellow chamber members.

Learn about chamber members by going to our website: www.arlingtonchamber.org. Our members’ businesses are listed by category. This will help you find a chamber member when it is time to buy everything from a new car to a cup of espresso.

And when you are fortunate enough to do a good deed for another chamber member, pass along the sentiment that Ben Franklin expressed in a letter to Benjamin Webb in 1784 about a small loan.

“I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you … meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

Consider adopting this resolution or ethic as a collective commitment to “pay it forward,” as the saying goes.

We start our journey through this new year with a number of goals. Let’s write them down. And please make one of these goals to help three chamber members on a biweekly basis. Learn about their business. Find out what their perfect customer looks like so you can be on the lookout. Ask them how you can help. While some of our goals are long-term, complicated and hard to achieve, this particular commitment is doable, immediate and within our control. You and I can do this.

Continue this conversation by sharing it with others or by contacting me at daviddecamp@yahoo.com.

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