Inspire and Motivate
(This article first appeared in the May-June 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)
By Southern Regional Coordinator Kennith Beasley
The headline above is sometimes a hard thing to set and keep in motion because some of our members are usually concentrating on their own private concerns. However, there are constant and enormous challenges that require our membership’s prompt and undivided attention. Members must be reminded that their jobs and personal concerns are equally important.
The tasks before us include finding ways to inspire and motivate the majority of the APWU membership. I will venture to say that just about all APWU officers and stewards are extroverts and have the charismatic gift of gab. Let’s use this to our advantage to get the membership’s blood pumping and ready to fight for the causes of justice.
First, having a sustained degree of inspiration and self-motivation is essential. We must get members involved internally and externally in postal affairs. There is no satisfaction or glory in standing on the sidelines, watching everyone else do the work. Explain how that’s free-loading if they do, which makes them devoid of character and integrity.
American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.” Our members have this type of spirit.
Leaders at APWU headquarters, as well as local leaders, officers and stewards out on the workroom floor, have to awaken that sleeping spirit and bring those dormant talents out of the members. We all must seek all opportunities available, 24/7, to inspire and motivate them, despite any differences.
We want to organize our members and have them support our legislative fights for civil rights, for the poor, for the disenfranchised and for bills that promote the inclusion of all. We are color and gender blind, and we love to produce a united front for justice and equality.
One thing we as postal workers want and have in common is “our desire for a decent job.” My colleagues Sharyn M. Stone, Omar Gonzalez, Mike Gallagher, John H. Dirzius and I have pledged to lead the inspirational and motivational charge. We are “fired up” and “ready to go.”
There seems to be a cloud of consternation among people. You can tell by the prolific political conversations that are going on in the work place. The current government’s leadership, or the lack of leadership, does not seem to be giving all people a sense of hope. Most citizens want strong leaders who make sense and are inclusive.
There is a lot of misinformation being communicated to the people by politicians and others through the mass media. The problem is, leaders and spokespersons are standing and defending things that are false, and then insisting they are true. That is a blatant oxymoron. Some of us can deal with it because we know the truth and spot biases, but I am concerned about the generation coming behind us.
Some may be impressionable and naïve, possibly accepting this new way of thinking as normal. I believe that acquiescing to this type of reasoning is on the backs of future generations. When truth is seen as lies, and lies are seen as truth, it strips the truth of its beauty and pureness. Further, it degenerates and demoralizes. This type of thinking can affect masses who believe in nobility. I believe the old adage that says, “The truth will set you free.”
Leadership in a democratic and civilized society is of the people, for the people and by the people, as our forefathers wrote in the U.S. Constitution. Our nation is not yet perfect, but it has evolved into a country of hope and concern. To do anything against that would be a setback.
Remember, the duty lies upon us to inspire and motivate our ranks with hope and faith to secure our future.
There was a signed moratorium by Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg halting the Area Mail Processing consolidations and plant closings through April 2017. We should know by the time this article is published if the moratorium remains. As this article goes to press, we hope that the moratorium will evolve into a definite stoppage of all facilities closing.
Supply and demand stiffened the past rash of closings, because the slowing down of delivering mail was – and still is – a national embarrassment to the post office heads. The public and members of Congress know it did not make sense to downgrade business by slowing the mail down and hurting our customers.