For the Love of Public Service

Posted on January 27, 2020

A neon sign reads "You Are Here."

Today’s Buzz is brought to you by Katie Nelson, Social Media and Public Relations Manager for the Mountain View Police Department. You can connect with her on Twitter and on LinkedIn


;What I’m Reading: Little Fires Everywhere

What I’m Watching: Cheer, and you should be too

What I’m Listening To: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come


Well, we did it. Today marks the last full week of January 2020.

In our personal lives, it’s entirely possible all those “resolutions” we set for ourselves have fallen by the wayside, the goals we thought we implemented still sitting there, waiting to be exacted.

But in our professional lives, we’re killing it. Every day. As servants to our communities, local and beyond, we come in every day thinking how we can better and best serve those in our cities, counties, states, and country.

But what happens if we just, I don’t know, tap out? What if we maybe hit our limit, and we just can’t muster anything creative, conducive, or collaborative anymore?

I had the good fortune of seeing Simon Sinek speak Jan. 24 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. I know some find speakers like him to not be worthwhile. But, I always enjoy the fact that when I do hear him speak, I leave thinking that I can and will be better, that I will come at challenges from new perspectives, and above all, my love for public service will not be undaunted.

In his talk, Sinek said that service is, by its definition, love. He states that love is an infinite representation of what it means to be social creatures, and that we cannot, and should not, operate alone. He said that serving another person, in capacities great and small, is an act of love. And, in turn, loving someone is a choice to serve.

He also tweeted about it.

A tweet from speaker Simon Sinek that discusses love and service.

As people in public service, I have no doubt that each and every one of you love your jobs, that you love being there for others, and that you love that others love doing that too.

But in an age when we are bombarded by negativity, by the repeated onslaught of criticisms regarding our exact purpose, I sat there and thought – what could we say to a group of people who so love what they do, who dedicate their lives in the service of others, but who are constantly being shamed, shaded, or slighted, simply because of what they do, and because someone just doesn’t like that?

How do we, in essence, tell public servants, to stay the course? That love will out?

So, rather than offer pieces of advice in this post, I sit before you and ask simply to share. How can we uplift one another, and those in our community, to turn to one another, listen, and appreciate? What are your thoughts?

What works? What doesn’t, and why?

We cannot know – nor should we assume – where someone’s opinion of our work stems from, nor should we assume that we can just change their mind if they just listened to us for a second, jeez.

But, what Sinek suggested — and yeah, it’s redundant and so basic but whatever, it’s still relevant – is that if we work together to listen, and to listen and learn for a time, not just a few seconds, that we can, perhaps, change the course for the better, for both parties.

Nothing is a guarantee, but a possibility is better than a never, right?


Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber queries whether he still has a shot to be with his female counterpart, Lauren Holly.


So, let’s get together. Let’s listen to each other. Let’s share, and let’s learn.

Let’s not tap out. Let’s keep the good juice flowing. Let’s work on keeping spaces healthy for communication.

I’m looking forward, to whoever reads this, that they hopefully feel comfortable enough to share.

I’m here. I’m listening. I’m ready and willing to learn.

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