Chamber hears physician's message of caring, sharing

Dan Diamond knows hardship.

The Silverdale physician spoke about his experiences throughout the world at last week’s Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Cedar Springs Pavilion.

Diamond, who founded and serves as the director of the nation’s first state affiliated medical-disaster response team, briefly discussed the ruin after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 and the devastating earthquake that measured 7.0 in January in Haiti.

But most of his message centered on people.

In New Orleans and other places, he saw two types of people: exploiters and thrivers.

He vividly recalls seeing a woman on TV before he arrived, standing next to her daughter and demanding to know when President Bush was going to bring her food.

The message bothered Diamond for several reasons. For one, the woman did not even mention her daughter. But she also believed she had no ability to change her circumstances.

“Victims believe the locus of control exist outside of them,” Diamond said. “Some people take life — they take it out of you.”

But not everyone was that way. Diamond encountered a man who had in his possession six blankets, three garbage bags and a shopping cart. One night, he asked Diamond for a large piece of cardboard in the back of the building where they were staying. Diamond said he initially was skeptical of the request until the man explained that he had given his blankets out to the elderly and wanted the cardboard to cover a seventh senior.

“You humbled me,” Diamond later told the man.

He said one of his worst employees became one of the best after the Katrina experience. Diamond said she told him the enormity of the situation changed her outlook on life.

“I’ve been a victim and I don’t want to be a victim anymore,” she told Diamond. “I want to be a thriver.”

Diamond founded Powerdyme in 2007 “to strengthen and equip people with the skills to thrive when times are tough.” He asked the crowd how they would react if they lost all of their possessions.

He left the South Kitsap crowd with a simple message: “How in the midst of my abundance am I going to impact the world?”

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