In this morning's paper was the following political cartoon on the Editorial page. It summed up how the real tragedy, loss of innocent lives, is lost in the headlines.
Yesterday, my office had it's Christmas Luncheon. With the above headlines in the news, we all wanted to forgo the usual "games" we play. They seemed frivolous. Stupid even. And yet, my Supervisor insisted we play the game she chose. We were asked to write our name and fill in the phrase, "For Christmas I want Santa to bring me......". There was some eye rolling and grumbling but in order to eat, everyone had to play along. I wrote the first thing that came to my mind.
Peace on Earth.
The papers were collected, food was served and we all hoped the "game" would just disappear in the rush to get back to work. No such luck. Before the drawing for door prizes, the Supervisor started to reach into the bag, then stopped. She declared we would go around the room, one by one and state what we had written. That like Santa, she would know if we were telling the truth because she had the paper in her hand. AND that she was keeping the information until after Christmas to see if we'd been Naughty or Nice and gotten what was on our wish list.
Someone how the irony of going around the room like a group of school children went over her head.
I sat waiting to see who was greedy or wishing for things our paychecks would never buy. The first guy asked for a winning lottery ticket. And then an amazing thing happened. As we got to our group of Maintenance workers, I figured visions of new trucks and hunting gear were dancing in their heads. The first guy was new...and about 12. With a shy voice he said, "Love and Happiness for everyone."
You could've heard a pin drop.
Around the room we went, adding Peace, Love, Happiness for children. The Supervisor started digging into the bag to see if we were telling the truth. The shock on her face confirmed we meant what we said. I was the 4th "Peace on Earth" and we all smiled at each other. By the time we got to the Boss' 19 year old grandson, he actually grimaced when he replied, "A BMW".
We're Public Servants. We work with the public every day. We see them at their best and worst, while they test us to see if we can remain our best and resist saying the worst. As we left the room I glanced at my stunned Supervisor and smiled.
I hope Santa was listening. A little Peace on Earth would be a wonderful gift.