Mayor Elect Bradburn, incoming Council, fellow citizens of Sandy.
Sixty seven years ago, President Kennedy in his inaugural address talked about a torch being passed.
Today … the torch of governance for nearly 100,000 residents of Utah is to be passed …
Let us be mindful that none of us created that torch but we are stewards, custodians, of that torch, that flame, that light and I believe as faithful stewards we stand on the shoulders of Giants … Giants who displayed courage in the face of adversity and if afraid, fear did not define them.
Sadly, we have reached a point in this age of information, where we have stopped seeking information from each other, and far too often gravitated into enclaves, fortresses, hideouts, where we only speak to like-minded souls.
The late Dr. Stephen R. Covey once said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
I think he nailed it – as a general rule, we do not listen to truly understand … and sadly, this is a long-standing issue of the human condition.
Some three thousand years ago – a scribe of wisdom would write: "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
Some two thousand years ago -- Saint Matthew reports the words of Jesus as -- "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
The brother of Jesus – would say to his flock ‘Know this … let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak’Some here understand this itinerant troublemaker named Jesus through the lens of a 19th Century Saint -- Brigham Young.
Brigham Young once offered: ‘can you think of a better way to entertain someone than to listen?’
I would propose that listening – true listening – wisdom seeking, understanding seeking -- listening -- can take on a sacred, holy element and true listening has been advocated by voices of wisdom to counter our natural human condition to focus on ourselves for three millennia.
I offer to us gathered here today – all of us gathered here today –that listening is part of how that torch, that flame, that light, I mentioned earlier is nurtured in order to be passed to others behind us …
We are only temporary custodians, of that torch, that flame, that light and to paraphrase Shakespeare -- we – yes we here – we blessed (and happy) few – we band of sisters and brothers -- have a wonderful opportunity to be Giants … Giants who display courage and sacred leadership in the face of adversity.
A path to Giant-hood is to listen to each other while seeking information. To come out of our enclaves, fortresses, hideouts, into the light of that passed torch, flame, light. It is a departure from the human condition but then isn’t that departure the essence of being leadership Giants?
Giants are those who understand through listening and lead us above our human condition.
Thank you …