With the cacophony, animosity, and distrust surrounding our politics at the moment, it is easy for those of us who work within government to lose morale, let alone hope. Much has been written about the internal tensions many in the federal government, working tirelessly to modernize its operating system, feel around the new administration and its attendant personalities. Yet, most, if not all, who I have spoken with working at every level of government maintain their resolve. They will continue to do the work, because that’s just what they do. Because the work matters.
This weekend, the New York Times published a short anthology of reflections on President Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office. One letter, in particular, hit home. It reminded my why we do the work. Why we work day in and day out to help government catch up to the 21st century, to boost empathy and understanding in its interfaces, and — paraphrase the letter— make our government feel more human:
President Obama would be the one to make our government feel human to me. He warmed up the cold bureaucracy of Washington, he made me feel like my government was on my side, and he personally was working tirelessly just for me…
ELLA PETERSON, Moorestown, N.J.
That’s what gets me out of bed every morning. And I suspect it does so for so many others working in the public’s interest. Now more than ever we must recommit ourselves to humanizing our government, to making it feel more accessible and useful, because at the end of the day, government is what we do together.