Posted by Keith Reed
Co-chairs Patti and Barb presided. Liz led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Amy Skalinder gave us the thought of the day from Pema Chodron—“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded.  It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”  Peter Skalski handled the Dig N Grin by telling a story about a well-intentioned Vet who charged only $20 to take care of a dying duck in his office, but by the time he had enlisted the aid of other “specialists” in his office to examine the duck, the bill had run up to $150 and the duck died. (You had to be present in order to appreciate how well Peter told this joke!)
   There were 18 members present at the meeting and 6 on Zoom.  In addition to the speakers, others present were Mike, the WCH maintenance manager, and another WCH employee, Mark Schusteff.  Patti made special mention for all the good work that Heidi Sibert did on the Kids Against Hunger fund raiser last Saturday and presented Heidi with a special cake and candles in recognition of all her work in making this fund raiser a special success.  Even the local Winnetka Talk considered this event to be very noteworthy with a 2 page spread report in its March 2nd edition, copies of which are available from our local Rotary.
    The only anniversary reported was that Joe Fell has been a Rotary member for 30 years and continues to spend much of his time at his summer home in Delavan, Wisconsin.  Happy Bucks contributions were started by Rich who reported further successes of the Operation Warm’s effort to get winter coats to kids in need; then Wes contributed and was happy to see 24 members participating in our meeting; and even our speaker Dr. John Bair contributed since he was happy to be back speaking before our members.
Dr. Jphn Bair has spoken to us before about the work he does with veterans at Lovell Federal Health Care Center. His presentation today focused on the concepts of moral injury and moral distress. These are experienced by most veterans and cause psychological distress and trauma. Dr. Bair and his colleagues have been working on therapies to address these issues. He has studied the topic of moral injury/distress for over 50 years at Northwestern Hospital.  He claims that “moral distress” is not only a problem for returning vets, but even for normal people of all ages who get exposed to bullying and inappropriate sexual treatment, from other people who generally have low moral values in the way they treat their fellow citizens. He said that the level of moral injury/distress among returning vets is even worse than we might expect and that PTSD and suicides are a bigger problem than most people imagine. He said that “spiritual experiences” from being in a war environment are varied but usually the returning vet is substantially changed in someway. Here is a link to Dr. Bair’s PowerPoint