Thursday, September 21, 2006

Long Ago and Far Away and Invisible People

Long Ago and Far Away This was from a time that is now long ago and far away... I thought this would bring a smile to whoever happens upon this image. Yep, it's me. On Molokai. Guessing by the missing front tooth, I must be about six or seven years old. I don't think we moved up to our house in Kalae yet from the Del Monte camp (Kualapuu), so I must be in first or second grade. I just love the sock monkey on the wall behind me. I wish I still had that green lamp on the shelf! What a classic! However, I do have the lamp from the same time that is a black cocker spaniel on its haunches. He's on my bedromm dresser. Ahhhh, nostalgia! Invisible People While leaving the grocery store yesterday, I caught out of the corner of my eye in the card display area cards for "Bosses Day". I started muttering to the poor young man that had bagged my groceries and was taking them out to the car for me. "Well, what about Employees Day? Why don't they have that? And, what about Janitors Day? They should have that too! Heck, what about the folks who pick up our garbage? Why don't we have cards for that too?" Those dab-burned companies will think of as many ways to 'obligate' us to spend our money! But, it is so 'class oriented'. No cards for those that many consider 'beneath' our station. We don't have a caste system; except perhaps on a more subliminal level. All of us forget about this so easily. How we treat people in our day to day lives is NOT equitable. It's funny that when I was waitressing in college and those who inquired about what I did for a living would just say, "oh" to that. It was seen as a lesser kind of job. The attitude and behavior that went with it is interesting to observe. Later, I worked for a wine distributor and represented lines such as Sterling, Cakebread Cellars, and many other prestegious wineries. It sounded glamourous, but really, it was what I called work that a gorilla could do. Often, it was I who was building that 50 case display of wine on a grocery store end cap. It was mindless and unrewarding work. But, when I told people that I worked for a wine distributor, their faces would light up, the interest would be oh-so-great and the way I was treated was so different from when I was a waitress. Interesting, huh? Same person, same intelligence, same time in my life. We are snobs. All of us. Do you say hello to the people who clean your office and bathrooms at work when you see them coming in? Do you look them in the eye and thank them? Do you pay attention to who they are? A nice gesture I learned from my older brother, Robert's example, is that when someone is wearing a name tag, he looks them in the eye and thanks them by name. Very gracious. Small gesture, but what a big difference. We are all human beings and everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. And those who are doing the jobs that none of us would ever do should be exalted! Instead of forking out that $4.50 for a card for Bosses Day, spend the money on a gift card for McDonalds or something and give it to someone who derseves recognition. It's not that my boss doesn't derserve recognition, but they already get it. I just think that there are others who need the recognition more than my boss. These are the people that I call the invisible people as they go through life without recognition. Without them, our lives would be quite different.

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