Despite everything in 2020, it's worth recognising how incredibly lucky and privileged we are.
Our kids, 4 and 6, recently wrote letters to Santa. Sometimes lovingly spelled “Samta,” if you’re still learning your letters.
Looking at the letters, I was reminded of one of their favourite children’s book characters: Pig the Pug, by Aaron Blabey. As the name implies, the protagonist of the book is a pug named Pig. Fittingly-named, as he is a selfish, rude, self-centred… Pig! Meanwhile the other family dog Trevor is friendly, kind and caring – a marked contrast to Pig.
In one of the books called Pig the Elf, both dogs write letters to Santa. Sweet Trevor tells Santa he loves him and will appreciate whatever Santa brings him. Pig’s list stretches on for pages and pages, and includes gems like “unicorn (real, not fake!)”, a jetski, 4 skateboards, a trampoline and an island. Pig is of course most displeased with Saint Nick, when he doesn’t deliver on Pig’s demands.
As I helped our kids with their letters (spelling help only, as requested - the content was all them), I was reminded rather directly of Trevor and Pig. My daughter did have a few requests: a tea set, a puppy (not happening this year!), any LEGO and a Paw Patrol toy she’s been asking for all year. Importantly, she wrote an accompanying note expressing her love to Mrs. Claus, Santa, the elves and the reindeer!
My son, Pig , ahem, Joel, was, shall we say, a bit more assertive with his list:
He’d like a LEGO train, 6 (!) other LEGO sets and 9 Thomas & Friends engines. That’s rather a lot - but I suppose if you don’t ask, you don’t receive. So, certainly not at Pig the Pug level, but well beyond a Trevor.
But hold on: what’s that arrow? Looks like the letter continues on to the other side of the page! The list continues: 8 more engines, and more LEGOs, “or other things!” Perhaps at a more advanced age, that would be a hyperlink to Pig’s list?
After we had a good laugh as I reminded them of Trevor and Pig’s letters, a thought struck me: after the year we’ve had, wouldn’t it be great to indulge our inner Pig? But with all of the suffering in the world, that’s just not on. So perhaps channeling Trevor, and focusing on much more important things is in order. Years ago I learned a Spanish toast that really resonated: “Salud, amor, y pesetas, y tiempo para disfrutarlos”, which translates to “Health, love and wealth, and time to enjoy them.”
So many around the world have lost one, several or all of these in 2020. It strikes close to home, with a loved one battling breast cancer during the pandemic. And yet despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, I recognise how incredibly lucky and privileged we are. And thus my Trevor hope is that you all enjoy health, love, wealth, time, and the opportunity to enjoy them. And that collectively we emerge from the pandemic more unified than today.
Here’s hoping that the second half of 2021 becomes a time where we can in fact indulge (at least a little bit!) our inner Pig. I’ve got Pig’s list for inspiration, and plenty of time to start working on my own letter to Santa for 2021!
Across the past 20 years, 3 passions have driven Dan: shaping collaborative teams, evolving services businesses, and enabling innovation in education. These passions fuelled varied roles from a start-up developing the CODiE award-winning EQUELLA software to global educational powerhouses Blackboard and Pearson; from small teams to leading a team of 65 delivering an annual product and service portfolio of $55 million.