Thursday, December 22, 2005

Respect workers and their work.

The Transit Workers Union (Local 100) of New York City are "On strike for fair wages, hard-earned benefits, respect and dignity." I don't know all the details of the labor negotiations but I do know that all honest workers are worthy of respect and dignity.

As the world becomes effectively smaller, we become more interdependent. If for no other reason than that (self-interest), we should acknowledge all good work, whether it is manual or intellectual, done outside or indoors, done in an office, officle, or cubicle, makes you sweat or gives you a headache, pays well or pays poorly.

As an example, consider all the folks who were involved in the last meal you ate:

* Who planted and tended the grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts?
* Who harvested the grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts?
* Who developed the seeds that ensured a bountiful harvest?
* Who tended the livestock before slaughter?
* Who slaughtered the animals for meat?
* Who stocked the grocery store shelves?
* Who cleaned the grocery store floors?
* Who baggedyour groceries?
* Who inspected the food for quality and safety?
* Who managed the grocery store?
* Who drilled for the natural gas to cook the food?
* Who drilled for the oil to fuel the vehicle that got you to the store?
* Who drove the truck, or steered the ship to bring the food to your community?
* Who cooked the food?
* Who made sure you had clean dishes from which to eat?

Now consider the folks in your own work environment. Make sure to acknowledge their valuable contributions throughout the year. We all deserve dignity and respect, as workers and contributors, and as fellow human beings.

"Work is only part of a man’s life; play, family, church, individual and group contacts, educational opportunities, the intelligent exercise of citizenship, all play a part in a well-rounded life. Workers are men and women with potentialities for mental and spiritual development as well as for physical health. We are paying the price today of having too long sidestepped all that this means to the mental, moral, and spiritual health of our nation. " - Mary Barnett Gilson (1877–?), U.S. factory personnel manager, economist


Kathryn Beach said...

I tend to remember the farmers, but thanks for the reminder about all the rest. Like the cashiers that spend so many hours on their feet...

Respect starts with ourselves. Respect for yourself starts with knowing who you really are.

Please accept the gift of my post today in my blog. A humble reminder of what Christmas is really

Wow, the word verification letters I'm supposed to type in are dfrwknd.

This will indeed be a different weekend...

Karama said...

Hi Kathryn,

It's kind of amazing, isn't it, when you think of all those who contribute to just one meal? Humbling. . .

Thanks for your comment, and your post. I hope you enjoyed your visit to So what can I do. Please stop by again soon, and spread the word!

PS: My letters were zhhov - not much I can do with that.