A gifted researcher and teacher that I once knew carried with him a significant fault -- something that is a struggle for many of us. As I was holding a new grandchild over the recent holidays, I was reminded of the importance of overcoming this fault. You see, this previous mentor of mine struggled with passing on the reigns to bright minds who could replace him. Don't we all have some desire to hang on to our position in life, to not let go? But, we must pass on what we have or what we have may perish.
For example, are you passing on the importance of membership in dental academies — organizations that continue to focus on the excellence of care that many believe our profession should embody? If you are an academy member, are you willing to actively pursue a new member — someone who demonstrates a desire to continue the legacy of excellence? OR, are you waiting for someone to ask you if he or she could be invited to participate in your academy?
Journal editor is a role that must be passed on someday. This is the last year of my first term as editor, an honor for which I am very grateful. However, it is rare for someone to continue beyond two terms. I ask myself: Who is willing to make the commitment needed to pursue this role after me? Often, the next in line comes from the ranks of reviewers and associate editors. So, I am asking you: if you have a desire to take on the role of editor at some point in the future, let me know of that desire. Although I cannot promise that it will ever happen, I greatly desire to provide the opportunities necessary for bright, new blood to carry on the mission of excellence.
Nurture new blood. Encourage new blood. Do not be afraid of new blood. For it is through new blood that legacies develop, continue and flourish.