The Public Pact

In the future, before anyone in our community snidely and negatively generalizes about the commitment to service among our local government and nonprofit/social-sector employees, please pause and remember these days.

Government and bureaucracy are not always perfect, and in that way they reflect humanity well. Recent and prolonged tragic events have given us all a rare glimpse inside the substantial disaster preparation and response systems that most people never see.

Those systems have been built and comprise people who care, people who will be there for us in every way they can when we need them most: the firefighter, law enforcement, the search-and-rescue volunteer, the caseworker, the public health providers, the Spanish and American Sign Language interpreters, the animal services employee, the shelter worker, the public information officer, the Emergency Operations Center staff, the logistics coordinators, the National Guard members, the mappers, the planners, and the weather forecasters. I could go on and on and on.

Over the past two months, they have been called heroes and angels many times, and rightfully so, but that is not why they do it. They chose a job of service because they care about people: their fellow man, woman, and child, and furry friends, too. They care about you and your family, without even knowing you.

In a time when wealth and possessions and status and fame are often worshipped as the things that matter most in the world, and in a time when so much unnecessarily divides us, let us not lose sight of the fact that most of humanity is, for the most part, still truly good.

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