Maybe it’s because I’m “of a certain age” or I’m simply a curmudgeon, but boy howdy do I have a catalogue of pet peeves.
People who tailgate are head and shoulders top of the list. I can maybe, sorta, possibly justify this irk because it can be dangerous. However, many of the others just rub me raw for no reason in particular except, well, I dunno, just because.
As example, it really yanks my chain when I spot that stupid, senseless, ridiculous — even offensive — “fashion style” of one’s pants fastened below the butt. The way I see it, it you have to waddle while walking, holding your trousers up with one hand so they don’t plotz down to your ankles, you might want to rethink the manner in which you’re wearing your clothes; just saying. I don’t know why it irks me so much but, I’ll own it, it does.
Another annoyance of mine is the “inflation” of the word “hero,” now tasked to depict virtually anyone who does what is expected of them – or even less – with no sacrifice of their own.
“She is a real hero; she walks her dog every day.”
“My children are heroes; they clean their rooms without being asked.”
C’mon! Really? Can I be a hero because I paid my bills or managed to get out of my pajamas; choking down the terror and resulting paralysis I overcome on a daily basis during the pandemic? No, I think not. We’re all doing it, and by definition, we cannot all be heroes.
A definition of hero is, “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character; or who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.”
The crisis in which we find ourselves has indeed brought forth genuine, true-to-life, tangible heroes, who despite risk, continue to push forward, contributing to the greater good while jeopardizing their own. Among all the mayhem, confusion, and anxiety of these days, I felt it an honor, as well as appropriate, to call them out.
Thank you to the delivery folks; UPS, FedEx, post office employees, and all the others who bring those of us “sheltering in place” what we need to do as well as we can under extreme circumstances. Daily they gamble with exposure to the virus to supply us with almost everything we need; office items to cosmetics to groceries. We have overlooked their contributions far too long. They are the arteries keeping us functional and (mostly) sane. Thank you for your continued service.
While on the subject of necessities, who would ever think that our role models would include the clerks and staff of supermarkets, hardware stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other businesses deemed “essential”? They might be crucial to the public good but maintaining that good can indeed be harmful to those who show up each day at work, protected from exposure only (and not always) by thin latex gloves, social distancing, and – if “lucky” – a plastic shield between them and us. Thank you for your service.
Certainly, with no disrespect to the above, but, first and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you – and a thousand times more – to the literal front line in this war: Health Care Providers.
They are doctors, nurses, PAs, medical techs, ER teams, even the administrative staffs. Tragically and wrongly, they are under-equipped, overloaded, and stretched beyond breaking points. Yet, at extreme personal risk, they, like the wave after wave of soldiers who invaded Normandy during World War II, continue to slog forward, head down, on to the beach, bombarded non-stop, unrelenting in their mission. Their own personal health and safety have become secondary to the needs of the sick, ill, and frightened. They didn’t sign up to be soldiers; instead opting to devote their lives to the healing arts. Yet, there they are, the brave, courageous, committed heroes who form the vanguard in this battle for survival. There are no words for the thankfulness and appreciativeness we have for your sacrifice and service. Just know it – and know if we could do more, we could.
When this is all over, there will be no ticker-tape parade down Fifth Avenue. We will not be able to salute the men and women returning to the Homefront. No keys to the city will be presented while a thankful community stands in ovation to their sacrifices. Yet, it is they who will have brought us back to the light. It is they who will restore our personal and public health. It is they to whom we own so much and can never repay that debt.
“Thank you” rings hollow but it is so deeply felt. We see you. You matter. We care. In our eyes, you are modern-day angels.
Please be safe. Be healthy. Take care of each other.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and founder of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, where he can be contacted for coaching, consulting, and presentations. During this social distancing period, he is conducting monthly on-line workshops on setting goals and getting past what holds you back. You can find out more at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com/intentions