Twas the Night Before Christmas

“‘Twas days before Christmas and things kinda stank.

The fear of recession and economy in the tank.

But at Freedom we were happy, it has to be said,

With the anticipation of holiday treats in our head


And I strategically planning efficient and fast,

Was analyzing data right down to the last.

When out in the lobby I heard such a clatter.

I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.


Away from my desk and straight to the door,

Out in the hallway and to the lobby I did soar.

And what with my wondering eyes did I see,

But a little old man waiving frantically at me.


He was dressed all in red and spoke rather quick,

But I could tell in an instant that this was St. Nick.

He had papers in hand and asked me to hurry.

So straight up to him I quickly did scurry.


He got right to the point and said with a sigh,

“I can no longer afford for my reindeer to fly.

“The cost of feed and the parts for my sled,

If I don’t get relief Christmas’s future I dread!”


We went off to my office in a chair he was seated,

I went over his finances saw his 401k was depleted.

But I was not worried and said “Do not fear.

Freedom can help you so it’s good that you’re here.”


With a savings restructure and a nice yielding loan

I devised a bailout to get him back in the zone.

Once all was completed, he was back on his way,

Delivering goodies before Christmas Day.


And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,

“Before Freedom’s help money really was tight,

But now that you’ve helped me I can continue my flight.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!”

The Futility of Hate

I’ve never understood hate.  Don’t get me wrong, I say I hate some things.  I hate traffic, I hate liver, I hate the cold, I hate the way I look in these pants, but that’s not the hate I’m talking about. 

I mean the apparent ease with which people hate, the reasons they hate and the lengths they go to express that hate.  I’ve seen a lot in my many decades on this planet and I still don’t understand why people hate for such superficial reasons like appearance, background, beliefs, or hate an entire group because of the actions of a few.

Disagree? Sure, but hate?  Especially hate that turns to violence.  What benefit is there for hater or the hated?  What change does that actually bring?  What gain is there in removing the ability to discuss, compromise, empathize, coexist in hopes of a better tomorrow for everyone?

Look, I’m no saint.  If someone hurt someone I loved or I was in a survival situation, I can’t predict how I would respond, but that’s totally different than hate because of certain differences.

Maybe I’m just naïve, but that seems futile.  Whatever happened to judging someone by the content of their character or not judging a book by its cover, or judge not lest ye be judged?

These days we are quick to anger, quick to judge for the slightest reason.  Maybe, just maybe, we can see how damaging that is to our society.  That focusing on our differences rather than our similarities puts us on a path of self-destruction.

Maybe, just maybe, a season about peace and love will stand out this time and show us a better way.  I have to believe in that and it’s why our actions at Freedom matter so much.  That’s why doing good is more important than just doing good business.

Besides, in the words of Elvis Costello, “what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding.”


From small things, big things grow.  Like a seed that turns into a giant redwood, the little choices we make and small steps we take have a larger impact.  The minor things many take for granted are the foundation of something greater and, dare I say, very important for how we build a team, a credit union, and a community.  By helping each other, encouraging each other, and supporting each other through good times and bad we build, we grow, we get stronger.  The key term, of course, is we.  What we build is a culmination of many people, ideas, skills, backgrounds and so on.  We build Freedom together but also with our community and our members.  Even though the saying is “if you build it, they will come”, I believe it’s more:

If you build it, they may come.  If you build it with them, they’re already here.