Russell and Duenes

The Smell of Community

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I have thoroughly enjoyed my work in the Emporia City Attorney’s Office this semester, and I will always consider it a high point of my law school days. The job has been varied, interesting (if not sometimes amusing), and challenging. Yet more than anything else, I have enjoyed the people who work in the office and the relationships they have with each other.

Robert Duvall famously said in the film, Apocalypse Now, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” and Jim Witt, Emporia’s Assistant City Manager, riffed off this and said, “I love the smell of community in the morning.” This thought has lodged itself in my mind over the past week, and I think it’s an apt description of what I have experienced in their office this semester: “the smell of community.” I’m only there one day a week, and yet they have welcomed me, been very personable to me, offered me real work, and allowed me to be a small part of the vocational and professional community of which they are a part. This has made all the difference, and I can see why anyone would enjoy coming to work each day in the City’s offices. When you know you are cared for, respected, pulled for, acknowledged and valued by your colleagues, you find that greater desire within yourself to give your best efforts and to seek the good of your colleagues in return. You find the aphorism true: “It is better to give than to receive.”

I will miss the office when I finish my semester, but I know my colleagues will have left a deep and lasting impression on me. The real value of work is what it adds to the well-being of others, and the sense of satisfaction one gets from working with others, in true teamwork, to accomplish worthy ends. City work in Emporia has this value, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

April 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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