Yes, Virginia, there’s hope so long as good endures

In a response to a letter from an 8-year-old girl, the New York Sun opined in an editorial published in 1897 that yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Francis Pharcellus Church wrote the words that remain famous more than a century later: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

In a holiday season that for many business owners and managers understandably focuses on sales that can make or break the year, it’s still important to reflect at least a little bit on love and generosity and devotion.

At a time when tragedy too horrible to comprehend strikes far too often, it’s more important than ever to remember that love and generosity and devotion still abound.

It’s especially evident to those of us blessed to live in the Grand Valley.

Business owners and managers have a lot for which to be thankful not only in the patronage of customers, but also the assistance that’s available to them from so many sources.

The Business Incubator Center, for example, embarks on its 26th year of operation doing what the center has done so well since it opened in 1987. And that’s helping entrepreneurs and businesses start and grow ventures. But don’t forget the prominent roles of chambers of commerce in Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade in assisting businesses in so many ways. The Grand Junction Economic Partnership offers support as well, whether it’s helping existing businesses expand or recruiting new businesses to the area. On a larger scale, the U.S. Small Business Administration makes true what’s otherwise a punch line: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Even as the community supports businesses, though, businesses give back in their support of charitable organizations too numerous to innumerate. Stories in this very issue detail just a few of the efforts of businesses to collect food and toys for the holidays and raise money for worthy causes. It would be far easier for business owners and managers to reject the repeated requests they receive for donations and keep

hard-earned profits entirely for themselves. But owners and managers — and their employees, too — give freely of their money and time because they not only want to do well, but also do good.

It’s easy enough for people to forget the good in focusing so much on the bad — and losing faith in the proposition. What was true in 1897 remains true in 2012. As Church put it: “They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.”

There’s hope, though, so long as good endures in the countless acts of kindness of people as well as the businesses they run and for which they work. Yes, there is a Santa Claus in the spirit of love and generosity and devotion. In all this world, there is nothing else real and abiding.