I see a lot of “Heroes work here” signs around town. The banners and signboards spotlight ongoing appreciation and gratitude for workers whose daily vocations are laudable. Sometimes, though, the intended recipients seem limited to predictable categories: Law-enforcement and medical workers.
Although they certainly are heroes, these aren’t the only people whose work is essential to society’s smooth functioning. Other cohorts of thanks-worthy workers, bosses, leaders and entrepreneurs are out there, too. Not always visible, some of them work in occupations that we might take for granted. They may not get the same kind of gratitude afforded to front-line workers. It’s possible that the forgotten ones could be even more grateful for others’ recognition —precisely because they don’t often get noticed!
My list of praise-worthy workers starts with journalists and writers. They hold society’s leaders accountable for their decisions and actions. One favorite: Rex Huppke, a columnist for The Chicago Tribune, who uses both deft humor and insistent questions to skewer people who have forgotten their responsibility to the greater good.
Others? How about the people who operate sewage plants, postal workers, pastors—yes, they can get taken for granted—skilled tradespeople, small-business owners or governmental officials.
Another gratitude strand could be directed to (often unpaid) leaders of organizations, efforts or movements—such as Black Lives Matter—who are working tirelessly to turn society around. Sometimes excoriated for what looks to be only their angry rhetoric, these people are also selfless mentors, organizers and lifestyle exemplars.
The best thanks? Face-to-face. Where that’s not possible, letters, text or phone messages or e-mails can communicate sincere gratitude to those who don’t often get it.
Join me in sending your heartfelt thanks to those who deserve and need it. And thanks for reading this blog.
You’re my unforgettable heroes….!