To the waitress tirelessly cleaning up after my messy kids
to the trash collectors lumbering through our neighborhood on Thursdays
for the plumber keeping our old pipes running
and the mechanic spending your days under cars’ hoods –
To all of you, I want to ask your forgiveness. I have labeled your work as “beneath me;” I have overlooked you and your value and dignity. I have proudly ignored you as I went about “my” busy, important work. I have not valued you or your work, yet without you – where would I be? Where would any of us be?
I can’t grow my own food or run a trash collection service or do anything besides complicate our home and auto repair projects. Yet because I have two diplomas on my wall, I can feel like I have the right to scorn you or dismiss you. Forgive me. Forgive us. White collar work is no better than blue collar work. It’s different, but you are just as called to your work as I am to mine. And none of us get to choose what we do anyway. None of us are God, and each of us have different gifts as he’s assigned it.
I fear I might be speaking a bit too honestly. I hope you are not offended by what I’m saying, but I think you’ve probably sensed it a thousand times over from me and those like me. Forgive us. And thank you. Thank you for doing the work that is too often undervalued and keeping our days and neighborhoods and cars and pipes running.
Part of the 31 days of five minute writing series. Read all of them here.