This is a wonderful day to remember Martin Luther King jr, a deeply flawed human being who was also an exceptional benefactor to the human race. In his “Drum Major” sermon, he made this important point:
“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve“
In this sermon, he pointed out that we all have a drive to attain respect, honor, recognition, greatness. He paraphrased the message of Jesus in Mark 10:35-40 in this way:
“Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity.“
These are words to live by, for all of us who are deeply flawed human beings.
Today is not only the U.S.A.’s national holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King jr, but the date of Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration. Our president will publicly take the oath of office on Martin Luther King jr’s bible, facing the the site where King gave his “I have a dream” speech.
Let’s all remember, along with Barack Obama, that everybody, not just the leader of the free world, can be great.
Let’s all remember that this Key & Peele sketch is just a joke. The best path to respect, honor, recognition, greatness is by helping to make the world a better place, and not by intimidation and force.
I have just had the amusing experience of reading an article in the Nonprofit Quarterly, entitled “Thanking Your Nonprofit Techie: A Holiday Wishlist,” and finding that none of the gift suggestions listed there appealed to me very much.
If I were in the market to brighten the life of a nonprofit organization’s nptech professional, I definitely would not toss a E-Waste CD Clock from Hipcycle into the shopping cart. No. The really satisfying gift might be an intangible. For example, a realistic line item for information and communication technology in the organization’s annual budget, or a substantial shift in organizational culture toward including ICT staff in the crucial conversations where strategic decisions are made. No elaborate announcement or ritual would be needed; just do it.
But if I were in the market for an object that I could wrap up and present to a loyal, resourceful, hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated nonprofit techie, it would be the desk plaque that says, “Please pose all questions in the form of a compliment.” Or if you’d rather not spend $10.00 on a purchase, just promulgate it as an official staff policy.
Regardless of whether you mark the holidays with a gift to the nptech professionals in your organization’s life, and regardless what you might choose to give, I wish one and all a very happy holiday, and a joyous new year!