I was but wee when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. It must have been quite trying: a feat of technological innovation, cooperative efforts by thousands of mostly anonymous people and the global fame of a few astonishingly brave people who would be willing to sit atop a huge bomb that, if working properly, would send them to the moon and back.
I used to dream of being NASA’s poet laureate in space. An easy dream because of its unlikeliness.
It must take a certain kind of crazy, aberrant behaviour to risk one’s life in the astronaut way, but when I think of Armstrong’s bravery and those astronauts who have lived and died with their goals, I think about the super-human strength of will it takes for people to go to work every day to make our society and world a better place.
People who work in the helping sectors like health, education, social services, child and elder care, and dozens of others who do jobs that most don’t have the temperament for. They devote their lives to improving the lives of others.
And even without the relentless economic and morale attacks from right wing governments pimping for the 1%, the job is hard. But we live in a world where the grotesquely rich, their corporations and their politicians need to find more ways to demean those who work to alleviate the suffering of others.
It takes herculean bravery to go to work every day knowing that the system will try to beat you down despite all the good you do for society.
Today is a day to celebrate the bravery of those who still go to work despite all the needless suffering the 1% and their minions visits upon them each day. It must be like sitting atop a rocket filled with explosives.
Today is a day to think about how as a society, we can better acknowledge and honour the work of those who help others. How can each of us show this kind of respect? How can we reach out to those who hold the fabric of society together and show them we won’t demean their contribution?
These are the questions we should be dwelling on today on our day off…for those who actually have the day off because most of those we’re talking about are working right now, stat or not.
Let’s be mindful of the service of others. And let’s object to those who would demean them.