As I sit at my mother’s house on Christmas morning watching one of my favorite movies, It’s A Wonderful Life, George has just gotten to the point where he has given up hope and wishes that he was never born. If you haven’t seen it, and you should if you haven’t, the rest of the movie is about George getting the opportunity to see what it would be like if he never existed. Through this experience he is able to see the positive effects he has had on the people in his life.

In the movie, the way George focuses on the needs of others reminds me of many of the people I have been honored to call co-workers in various service settings. Whether it was staying late, coming in early or on their day off, using their personal resources, or treating people with kindness and respect while being treated disrespectfully themselves, I often experienced people sacrificing of themselves to make sure the needs of the people they served and their co-workers were met.

This type of self-sacrifice, along with the other stressors in their jobs and personal lives, can wear on people over time making it harder for them to see the positive effects of the work they do. This is why it’s important that we do our best to balance our own needs with the needs of others. Even so, over time it can be very easy to lose sight of the positive impact we have on others causing us to lose hope and give up.

While we will never have the opportunity to see these positive effects the same way that George does in the movie, remember that even in the difficult times, that what we do in our jobs makes a difference in the lives of others. We hope that the Mandt System helps you and your organization provide the best possible care for the people that you serve.

Happy Holidays!

Doug ZehrVogt – Mandt Faculty