Last weekend I watched the holiday movie, Prancer, for the first time with my six-year-old daughter, Aria. She has been asking me lately, “Is there really a Santa Claus?” I understand her skepticism. We often need something to be tangible in order to believe in it. I fumbled around with a lame, “Of course Santa exists if you believe in the magic of Christmas…” or some such explanation. Toward the end of the movie, the famous editorial, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, is read by the father to his eight-year-old daughter. It’s a much better explanation. (And when it’s read by actor, Sam Elliott, you can’t help but get misty-eyed!) Here is the excerpt:
“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love and romance can push aside that curtain and view the beauty and the glory beyond. Is it all real? Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives. And lives forever. One thousand years from now, 10 times 10,000 years from now. he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Both skepticism and “childlike” belief or hope have been all around me this year. Political uncertainty, social injustice and a pandemic have made me both doubt and in some cases, more strongly believe in the goodness and power of humankind. My experience has taught me that both are important. Skepticism has caused me to be curious and seek to better understand issues and events. Belief and hope have strengthened my resilience and positivity.
In Patrick Lenciono’s book, The Ideal Team Player, his research concluded the three things that make someone a team player are to be humble, hungry and smart. Humility is pretty easy to understand. Someone who doesn’t have excessive ego or concern about status. Hungry people want to know more. They are intrinsically motivated, diligent, and have a strong desire to do more by going above and beyond. And by smart, Lencioni refers to emotional intelligence and interpersonal awareness.
My goal for 2021 is to grow in these three areas. What are your goals for the new year? It’s always a thrill when I hear from you. And whatever holiday or event you celebrate at this time of year, I hope you feel kindness, love and gratitude all around you.
See you next year!