Reevaluating those we hold in high esteem

William T. Robinson, Jr.

As a whole, the Covid-19 pandemic has made us re-evaluate those in our society whom we have subconsciously been taught to revere. Many times our acknowledgement of respect has been based on titles and high positions of authoritative figures unrelated to the personal integrity and morality of the individuals. In our society we are often taught to look up to national sports athletes, noted thespians, singers, designers and CEOs in big major corporations. It seems the more prestigious the position, the more adoration and respect an individual receives.

In the education arena, respect seems to be relegated to those who have spent additional time securing higher post secondary degrees, such as Master’s and PH.D.s. Now make no mistake, one should not have to apologize for working hard to better oneself and put oneself in a better position to serve the public. But when you look at the personal and selfish aims of some of these high achievers, you may find a lack of benevolence and integrity not warranting the respect and honor due with a high-ranking position or title. Often the employees we regard as the ‘little people’ are taken for granted. But they are the backbone of any business or organization and should warrant our respect if the truth were told.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that there is an army of dedicated, committed workers who have never fully been given due recognition or respect. These are the people who have put their lives on the line every day—whether firemen, law enforcement, educators, mental health workers, restaurant employees, maintenance workers, transportation drivers, hospital staff, other first responders and essential staff. Unfortunately these are public servants that most of us have literally taken for granted. We have minimized their importance as essential workers in our society. These are people who are disproportionately dying and sacrificing their lives in their quest to help others while doing their jobs. They have been long ignored and are often uncelebrated heroes. It is sad that it took this pandemic for us to realize their true monumental dedication and significance.

This pandemic has brought about an awakening. We now are more likely to value the integrity, benevolence, and dedication found in common working people, whether they are professional or unprofessional. The world owes these people an apology for taking their positions for granted when they have always represented the pulse of a thriving economy.

Word cannot come close to describing our thoughts and prayers for those essential workers who have succumbed to illness or died while doing their jobs during this pandemic. They will always have a special place in the hearts of all mankind heralding their performance during this pandemic. This should define how we forever treat and revere regular, hard working individuals.

It wouldn’t be hard to understand why an employee whose job required him or her to come in close contact with those found positive with Covid-19 might refuse to work. However, that is not the case for the majority of workers who only asked that they have the appropriate clothing and masks to insure their safety. In pointing out blame, the leadership of this country by this POTUS cannot go ignored. The poor response of this administration has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths. It would be a travesty of injustice if procedures, protocol, research and public safety were not made a priority in our government.

No doubt, a memorial should be erected to honor the public servants who so diligently sacrificed their lives so we can never forget the loyalty, sacrifice and love of the workforce that is the lifeline of our society and economy. We now know who the real unsung heroes are and should fervently honor their commitment, love and dedication to their jobs—especially in service to the public.

We as families have lost loved ones whether they are grandparents, godparents, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, or devoted friends. Unfortunately, this disease has kept many families from being in close vicinity when their loved ones transpired. Let’s remember to let those we love know they are loved every time we have the chance to see or talk to them. We never know when it may be too late, and we may not have closure. Those we should really hold in high esteem probably are members in your own household. “Thank you, thank you, thank you to the real wind beneath our wings.”