Monday, January 9, 2012
Thanking the Thankless
One of my pet peeves is when I hear or read complaints about our volunteer public officials. It's not that we shouldn't feel free to voice a dissenting opinion. That's an important part of a healthy democracy. Rather, it's the angry, nasty tone that those dissents so often seem to take - as if the officials were all part of a sinister plot to defraud the public, as opposed to dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours trying the best they can to make sound decisions despite challenging and often conflicting sets of constraints.
Well today I decided that it was time to add in my two cents, albeit with kindness and appreciation rather than anger and cynicism. I decided to send handwrittten thank you notes to two different people - one an elected official and the other a Board chair of an organization of which I'm a part. Neither gets paid a penny, and both have tremendously difficult jobs. Too often they're bombarded with complaints. I thought it was important they know that their efforts are appreciated.
So many of our institutions and organizations depend upon volunteers to make them work. Thankfully there are still people willing to step up and take on responsibility, despite the negativity that too often comes their way. Hopefully some words of thanks can make their jobs a little more rewarding.