holiday spirit, unmasked

there is something of true spirit here
a feeling so ever present and presumed
it is barely acknowledged in these halls and offices
amidst the walls and doors of decoration

if overshadowed by our festive exhibition
it is at least noticeable today
rather than completely hidden and ignored
behind well-worn masks of stress and frustration

for today, the masks of those who labor here
lifted by a generosity for each other
and genuine concern for those less fortunate
fade, if only briefly, to reveal the best of us

not the power or entitlement of office
not the strength of our resolve or commitment
nor fearlessness, bravado, or ambition
instead, unmasked, just people, overwhelmed

people facing challenges beyond their ken
asked, time and again, to do the impossible
frequently unaware of its unattainable nature
quietly doubting ourselves and our abilities

under conditions which breed constant anxiety
we summon from ourselves what we must
to make an otherwise doomed enterprise
succeed beyond any reasoned expectation

some so motivated to serve, to render aid
they can look past fear and confusion
to stand up for those who have been wronged
oblivious to the strength of their own character

oblivious to the spirit they embody
individually and collectively
the spirit of ultimate giving, of one’s self
even as they struggle and occasionally fail

it is this, rather than snowmen and menorahs
that truly adorn this place with the soul of the holidays
though the reams of pretty paper have their place
if only to open our hearts to the greatness therein

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