It seems that as the economy goes south, so does good form, manners and a propensity to take out one’s frustrations on the most visible symbol of government. Unfortunately that most visible symbol usually are those of you who drive around in vehicles with lights and sirens on them.
I was amazed to read in a local forum sponsored by the paper here how some of the anonymous posters were downright nasty about their perceptions of public servants. Ironically most of the comments were against public works folks and public safety folks…again the ones most visible in the community.
My blood boils every time I read the misinformation, misrepresentation and down right lies that are often perpetuated in blogs, editorials and in coffee shops. Apparently, public servants are supposed to live in poverty, work in substandard offices and use unsafe equipment that no one else would use just to save money. Fortunately for us in our community, we have a great commission and community support outside of the few anonymous folks who seem to thrive on making others miserable. I once heard a saying that if complaining was a profession, those folks would be the experts.
So how do you manage your emotions when you read and hear such things? Maybe a family member or neighbor dumps on you. You may hear it at social gatherings, church and other places. What’s a person to do? If you try to argue your point, you come off defensive. If you say nothing, the assumption is that you cannot provide a valid point of argument.
Proverbs 3:30 states “Do not accuse a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.”
The bottom line is to not get ambushed by these folks. Misery loves company and they will have a thousand excuses why they are right and you are wrong. I generally smile, say a short prayer on their behalf that their eyes and hearts will be opened. Then I remember all the absolutely fantastic things our officers and staff do every single day. I think about all the positive things I hear from community members and how proud my mom was the day I began my career in law enforcement many years ago.
If you keep a positive attitude and keep focused on the noble job you perform, that mud will slide right off. Just remember–“If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer” (Proverbs 9:12).