“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” – Sam Ewing
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
This past weekend was the Memorial Day celebration. Every year I feel strange about all the hoopla about honoring the men and women who gave their lives during times of war. I want to honor their sacrifice. I’m grateful to live in a country that is free. I’m grateful, but also sad. I wish we lived in a world where wars didn’t happen, and we didn’t build memorials to our “Honored Dead.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if Memorial Day honored Artists, Scientists, Peace Keepers, Teachers, Social and Aide Workers? Wouldn’t it be nice if countries didn’t need an Army, Navy, or Air Force? Wouldn’t it be nice if every single person in the world was honored for who they are and what they do?
Just think what it would be like if we had a day to honor Garbage Workers. I know, you’re raising your eye brows. But think about it. What would your neighborhood, or city be like if the garbage wasn’t picked up every week. What if we didn’t have people working at the recycling stations? What if the garbage piled up, like it does in some locations?
The point I’m trying to make is that every single person’s job is important. What if we didn’t have people to wait on us at restaurants, or clerical people to file our paperwork? What if there was no one to fix our cars, or the roads, or build houses and office buildings? What would it be like if we had to fit our own glasses, or make our own clothes? And what would it be like if we had to teach our own children, or diagnose our own diseases?
I don’t believe one career is better than any other, yet even in this country, we have a class system, where some jobs are considered better and more lucrative than others. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone earned a wage that made their lives comfortable, with all the bills paid, and gave them the nice things in life. I’m not saying that we should all have yachts, or fancy mansions to live in. I’m just saying it would be nice if every single person on this planet had food on the table and nice roof over their heads.
I know we can’t create that kind of world over night. However, I’m willing to say, “That’s the kind of world I want.” I’m willing to look my waitress, or waiter in the eye and thank them for their service, with a nice sized tip. I’m willing to thank my garbage man, or the construction worker on the street, or the cashier at the store. I want everyone on this planet to have fulfilling work that provides them with the necessities, and some of the niceties of life. I’m willing to honor people for the contributions they make. I’m willing to buy that piece of artwork at the price the artist puts on it, because artists have bills to pay too. After all, I’m buying something unique that is the expression of someone’s soul.
So, I say thank you to the people who are willing to do the dirty work that I can’t or don’t want to do, no matter what it is. I’m grateful for your dedication, hard work and service. I hope that one day we’ll honor every single person living on this planet.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2014