Seasons Greetings from Superintendent Jeff Jones
This year’s Christmas Message will be a little different than the one’s I have shared in the previous three years. It is about finding joy – rather than assuming it is experienced by all.
While I don’t have the benefit of having worked in this District for many, many years and building relationships with people over that time, I have had the privilege of getting to know many of our employees over the past 3.5 years. Over time, as trust slowly is built, people have begun to share their lives and their circumstances with me. For this I will be always grateful. This is the human and personal side of my work which I enjoy so much. The life stories I hear are reminders of the complexities of the human experience in a world of constantly changing cultural values, expectations, economies, environments and global realities. I hear stories of individuals who have emerged victorious from what were seen as insurmountable challenges. And, I also hear from and about people who are currently deeply immersed in their own personal issues of economic pressures, heartache, poor health, crises of personal identity. I am acutely aware that for many of our employees, this time of year is painful and difficult.
To all of you I want to share a message of hope. If you are lonely, hurting, challenged with financial issues, experiencing your own personal crisis – no matter what it is – I urge you to look to those who have overcome and realize that you are not alone – and that it does get better. For those who have overcome these challenges – I urge you to share a message of hope and thanksgiving for your resilience.
Nelson Mandela taught that, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Henri Nouwen wrote that, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
I truly believe that Joy is inspired when we share our human experience with each other. Generosity of spirit and means is inspired at this time of year; it is a reminder to be the best of who we are – no matter what our personal circumstances may be. We can all inspire hope. And, perhaps, this is how we can choose joy.
My Christmas Wish for all of you is that you find joy and peace – no matter where you are on your personal journey, that this festive season inspires you personally, and that you have a safe and well deserved holiday.