Note: I recently received an honor and spoke at the South Valley Chamber Titan Awards Dinner. After thanking my co-award winners, parents, in-laws, children, husband, mentors, and community leaders I shared these thoughts.
I’m a Murray resident and I spend a lot of time along the Jordan River Parkway. It’s a haven for birdlife. Near my home is the confluence of Little Cottonwood Creek with the Jordan River. It creates marvelous marshlands that most of the year are teeming with ducks, geese, grebes and, for part of the year, Great American white pelicans.
It’s very common when you’re on the Parkway, especially this time a year when there are few, if any leaves on the tree, to see a bird perched on the very highest branch watching what happens below.
It’s from that highest perch that you can see how everything comes together – the river, the shore, the plant and animal life, and people.
My training as an economist and time in public policy, locally and nationally, has provided a perch for me to observe the inner workings of this community and the broader trends affecting our world.
I’d like to share with you three observations I see from that perch.
First, the pace of change is accelerating and it is difficult to keep up. It’s frazzling our nerves and detracting from our peace of mind. With this in mind…don’t lose sight of the basics:
- A good book,
- A walk with your dog,
- A real face to face conversation,
- A listening ear for a friend,
- 24 hours without a smart phone, and
- Faith in a living God.
Second, not everyone is rewarded by this economy. We need to help those around us who are hurting. Best-selling author Michael Lewis writes:
“Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.”
Let’s actively seek out and help the unlucky among us.
Finally, I am inspired by the grandeur of our mountains and the solitude of our red rock. I feel a greater obligation to honor our plant, to love our land, and beautify our surroundings. The gift of creation requires our stewardship.
Mother Earth has given us much. Let’s give her something back.
Thank you for this honor.