Day 11 — Unsung Heroes
How many people are quietly going about their work to keep some small part of the world safe?
Photo courtesy of Armation/Shutterstock.com
Every morning, during my drive to work, I go past the elementary school in my neighborhood. And every morning, without fail, there is a crossing guard standing at the intersection in front of the school waiting to help the children arrive safely for another day of learning.
When it’s raining, he is there with an umbrella. When its cold, he is there with a scarf. When it’s hot and muggy, like it is now, he is there. Always smiling. Always greeting the kids and chatting with their parents. Wearing his reflective vest and carrying his stop sign, he is always there.
It got me thinking about how many people are quietly going about their work to keep some small part of the world safe. I think of them as unsung heroes. They aren’t doing it for accolades. They aren’t doing it because someone is forcing them to. They are doing it because it means something to them.
So today on my way to work I stopped to offer him some thanks. I’ll be honest, I was a little apprehensive — I mean I don’t often go up to people I don’t know standing on the street to strike up a conversation — but this project has the unexpected benefit of making me break out of my comfort zone from time to time.
I rolled down my window and said, “Excuse me, I know this may seem a little weird, but I drive past here every morning and I see you out here keeping our kids safe. I just wanted to say thank you.” I think he was a little taken aback but once he figured out what I was doing a smile drew across his face. I offered him a gift card to get lunch at a local restaurant and thanked him again for helping our kids. He looked at me and said, “Thank you, but really it’s my pleasure.”
And isn’t that exactly the answer you want? And exactly the person you want standing on the corner helping get our little ones safely to school?
I’d encourage you to slow down and look around for the people who are quietly working to make things better. The people who are doing the work that means something to them and brings them joy and fulfillment. They are my unsung heroes and I’d like to thank all of them for their contribution.
Learn more about the reason behind Maureen's 43 days of kindness blog idea here.