Sunday, July 25th, was a beautiful sunny day, a great day to ride the Harley; but, of course, any day is a good day to ride a Harley. Going south on 18th Street I came upon Hilliard’s corner and was held there by an Allegan County Sheriff Deputy who was operating a traffic control point to allow people participating in a bicycle race to turn safely.
As a long line of racers were coming north and turning west, I shut off the engine and waited. The Deputy Sheriff had positioned himself in a manner that put him between the participants in the race and oncoming traffic. Some 50 riders passed at a relatively low speed, and I did not hear or see any of them acknowledge the deputy for his efforts in keeping them safe. After I was allowed to proceed, I thanked the deputy as I rode past him.
Granted, I did not see every race participant pass the traffic control point, but I did see a large number. I am not a bicycle racer, but I have run a large number of foot races, 19 marathons and many shorter races. I always made an effort to simply say thank you to volunteers and law enforcement folks along the way.
The cost of a single word or a smile and nod of the head is little and I am sure much appreciated. The dearth of civility in our society is troubling and an indication of our general lack of knowledge and proliferation of elitist teachings.
My father always said, “All work is good work and there are no unimportant jobs;” how true. American society is like a finely tuned engine; if one part fails the engine fails
The good folks who collect the garbage keep us safe and healthy; if we had uncollected trash it would not only look and smell bad but it would be a major health hazard with vermin and insects spreading disease. The folks who pump our septic tanks and haul away waste are also vital to our health and protect our society.
Some folks’ professions are obvious in their impact on our lives: police, fire, teachers, medical professionals and the like, but all work is noble work. Elitists will tell us a job is beneath us like being a” hamburger flipper” or a retail worker, even as those elitist people eat fast food and shop at retail outlets.
A major problem is an education system that teaches us by using examples such as, “Do you want to dig ditches the rest of your life?” The question predisposes construction is not a noble profession; I envy those who build things as every project is a monument to their skill.
At what point did we as a society become so blind to those around us that we cannot see the forest for hugging our own tree? We are told by the progressives that entrance level, minimum wage jobs are degrading, but welfare is noble?
The people riding past that Allegan County Sheriff’s Deputy on their ten thousand dollar Grant bikes may have felt themselves above the deputy, but who is nobler? If those folks cannot understand or do not appreciate that a deputy who places himself between them and harm is worth at least a thank you or a nod of the head, shame on them.
Once again some may have thanked that deputy, but I did not see or hear them.
An auto mechanic who repairs our brakes is rarely thanked, but he keeps us and others safe. An electrician who wires a traffic light or installs safe wiring in our homes protects us hundreds of times a day, but we never give him a second thought.
My particular pet peeve are folks who degrade farmers; American farmers feed us and a good part of the world. Sit on the banks of the Mississippi River and watch the thousands of grain barges going south to New Orleans for shipment worldwide and you will understand.
The management of a farm is a very complex ballet; the skills and knowledge necessary rival those of any white collar professional. Couple that with hard physical labor and the unpredictability of Mother Nature, and we find a lot to admire in the farmer.
What people do for a living is not as important as how well they do it. Contrary to what we have been taught, all work is noble and vital to the safe, smooth operation of our nation. A smile or a simple thank you is free and in most cases much deserved.