It’s hard to imagine anyone reading a blog on Christmas Day, so if you’re reading this on Christmas Day, I’m not sure what to say. Should I tell you to stop reading and give your twelve year old daughter’s I-Pad back to her? (After all it is Her Christmas Present, right?)
On the other hand, you may be reading this at the end of a great day of celebration with your family and you are reading because, as much as you love them, you really do need some down time because otherwise, you’re not so…Ummmm….loveable yourself.
At any rate, regardless of why or when you’re reading this, let me take the chance to say, on behalf of the entire SGR organization: Merry Christmas!!!
It’s a wonderful time of year, and I hope that you’ve been able to have some time with the people you love. As I think about Christmas Day as it relates to SGR and our mission of helping local governments be more successful, these are my reflections about it.
- Christmas Day reminds us to say “Thank You”
Whether you are a Mayor, a City Manager, a Utility Billing Clerk, an employee at the Water Treatment Plant, a Firefighter, or any other position in a local government—we want you to know that we appreciate what you do. Public service is a noble calling. Your unselfish and tireless (some of you worked today!) efforts make life better for untold numbers of people who live, work, or play in your city. You don’t hear it often enough, so at SGR, we think it’s important to never miss a good chance to say: Thank You! Christmas Day is about giving, and we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the vast number of employees in the public sector who give a lot to the public every single day.
- Christmas Day reminds us to practice the Golden Rule
One of the core values for SGR reads:
The Golden Rule – Our primary market is comprised of local government officials who could be making more money working in the private sector but have been drawn into public service because they want to make a difference. We will honor that noble calling of our clients in the way we treat them, the way we interact with them, and the way we talk about them. SGR team members value our relationships with others and do not take them for granted. We treat everyone with dignity and respect, and we value diverse opinions, perspectives, and life experiences.
The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and it comes from the lips of Jesus of Nazareth, whose birthday Christmas Day acknowledges. That’s something we strive to live up to at SGR, though we never do so perfectly. Today, above all others, should be a day that inspires us all to that ideal.
- Christmas Day reminds us of one of the deepest dreams of the human heart
The Biblical Account of Jesus’ birth says that it was accompanied by angels whose chorus was, “And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” From every American suburb to the metropolises of China, the small villages of Turkey and everywhere in between, there’s a longing for peace that is filled with justice, fairness, love, and joy. When I was a boy, we used to sing a song that said, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Christmas Day reminds us that it is not only the longing of mankind—but of heaven, as well.
So with those reflections about the meaning of this day…May you truly have a Merry Christmas!