Be Kind.

As the holiday approaches we all tend to get a little crazed with all the extra things we all need to do, be it addressing holiday cards, finishing up last-minute gift purchases, baking and cooking those holiday favorites, and finishing up work-related items so we can get time off for the holidays.

If you are reading this blog post, you are already more fortunate and blessed than many others on earth. Nearly 3 billion people or 37% of the world’s population have never used the internet, according to the United Nations. About one billion people still do not own a mobile phone. Can any of you imagine even going a day without your cell phone at your side?

As our scary weather forecast becomes reality, please know that the Town of Merrillville is ready for the challenges coming. Our Public Works department has readied the snow trucks with plows and will be out clearing snow as needed. Will they do your street first, probably not, but know that they will get to your neighborhood as soon as possible. Merrillville has over 33 square miles of roads, which is a lot of roads to clear. Will they accidentally hit your mailbox, perhaps, just let us know and we’ll get it replaced or repaired as soon as possible? Just know that it won’t be done on purpose! Perhaps a friendly wave to our drivers would be nice as they drive by your home or business.

Our Police Department will be out in full force. Officers work 24/7 each day. They must adjust when their family Christmas dinner will be as they need to work around their schedule. They need to brave the weather as their offices are their rolling police car. We will be prioritizing calls for service like always and know that if you have an emergency dial 9-1-1 for service. 

As you visit our businesses in town know that everyone will be doing their best to service you. Will they have call-offs to deal with, you bet. Will they be extremely busy and taxing whatever equipment they need to serve you, you bet. Be thankful that they are there for you for your last-minute purchase, or food service meal, coffee, or donut.

I recently watched (again) Tim Minchin’s famous 2013 speech to the graduating class at the University of Western Australia. Tim is an Australian musician, composer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and writer. The former UWA Arts student was awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Western Australia in 20213. In his speech, he delivered a list of nine life lessons he’s learned (at his ripe old age then of 37) to echo the nine lessons and carols of the traditional Christmas service.

One of the nine life lessons was to ‘Respect People with Less Power Than You’. He mentioned that he often will observe and even make important decisions about a business deal with people by watching how they treat the wait staff at the restaurant meeting. I know that we have all noticed the angry customer who complained over the top about something being wrong with their order. Nobody intentionally sent your food out wrong or didn’t box your holiday gift correctly just to make you mad.

Most times, everyone is doing the best they can do. Perhaps their ‘best’ is not like your ‘best’. But we are all here sharing this planet. There is no other place to go, at least not yet, and more than likely not in our lifetime. So, make the best of it. Think about what really is important to you on any given day and enjoy time this holiday season with family and friends.

Be Kind.

Happy Holidays. -Councilman Rick Bella, Town of Merrillville, Indiana

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