A Christmas Carol
“So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun.”
Yesterday our team did just that; we reflected on what we have done over the past year, where we are now, and what lies ahead.
Reflection is something that we are naturally drawn to as another year closes, and we begin a new decade with 2020. There’s a ring to this year - excuse the pun - 2020 vision. So that we can look forward to the coming year through a clearer lens, the team spent the day reviewing the successes and challenges of 2019 in our work with Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership. Sometimes reflection is hard - to think about things we might have done differently or feeling regret at lost opportunities. But there is joy in this too, in that we can learn which enables us to start afresh.
When Ebenezer Scrooge was forced to look at his bah humbug, parsimonious ways through the eyes of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and what could be in the future, he had the most wonderful transformation as he reflected how things had been, how they were and what he could do to bring about change. The story ends with so many hopeful beginnings on that snowy, Dickensian Christmas morning.
And what of the Grinch, with his heart two sizes too small, when he hears the beautiful sound of Christmas carols drifting up from Whoville?
He has a think to himself - a moment of reflection.
“He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.”
The real message we can learn from Scrooge and the Grinch is that around these flawed individuals lies a community of kindness. Kindness, that indefinable virtue which feels like a warm fuzzy blanket being placed on our shoulders when we are having a rotten day. Even when their Christmas was stolen without a trace, the community of Whoville still sang together, and it made the Grinch’s heart double in size inside his meagre, green chest.
Yesterday our team had an opportunity to think about the work we do across the partnership and reflect on the remarkable acts of kindness we see every single day between teams and across the services. People are looking out for each other, checking in, sharing, and nurturing. If the ghost of our past is the challenge of inspection reports, lack of resources, strains of services and volume of workload, our community of kindness is alive and well. It is here now and needs to be celebrated. There will always be days that we see the Grinch and the Scrooge amongst us, or even feel our own heart shrink just a little. If we can keep our community of kindness and compassion alive, our ghost of what yet might be seems a little less scary. As the Grinch himself said,
“Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.”
The learning and development team wish you all a joyful Christmas, and a 2020 full of kindness.