A name may be given or chosen, made up or created. For most of us, our personal names have been chosen for us by our parents. We either like our names or not, but in most cases, they’re ours for life.
It’s important to consider what the name represents, the substance behind the name. We hear from time to time, ‘She doesn’t seem like a “Joan”’ or ‘She doesn’t look like a “Mary”.’
We can make a judgement based on others of the same name of someone we have met. However, it’s what makes that person special that matters.
If we apply this thinking in the assessment of a group, club or organisation, then we need to analyse what is behind the name, just as we do when meeting someone for the first time. OM:NI (Older Men: New Ideas) is a discussion group or chat group for older men.
‘Older’ is not a dirty word! We are a group of older men who are, in the main, retired, having lived the early part of our active lives and now have the time to reflect on what we have achieved over the years. OM:NI gives us the opportunity to share those achievements and experiences with each other in a way that can foster new ideas.
I think that the name of the group is less important than what the organisation stands for. If your need is a feeling of connection and belonging, and you are looking for long-term friendships, then OM:NI may be for you. The OM:NI men’s discussion group was the starting point for all of us.
OM:NI’s major advantage is that all members are equal – there are no ‘cliques’, there’s no hierarchy and there’s no formality. Each group has the freedom to function in its own individual way that suits the members. Even the suggested guidelines can be varied to suit the majority of the group.
To me, it’s clear that the simplicity of OM:NI is its strength.
Ken McMaster, OAC, OM:NI member