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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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This Week’s LION: Appreciating the Under-Appreciated

No one knows what we are going to call the Post-Pandemic Period, but the one thing we can predict is that it is going to be different than what we experienced just a few short months ago. We will be more cautious and careful in areas we took for granted before, but I believe we

No one knows what we are going to call the Post-Pandemic Period, but the one thing we can predict is that it is going to be different than what we experienced just a few short months ago. We will be more cautious and careful in areas we took for granted before, but I believe we will also be more aware of those who we took for granted in the past. Here is my list, I welcome your contributions to add to it!

Sanitation workers: I now make a practice to give a wave of thanks to the collectors who come to my house. When the trash and recycling stuff piled up, I began to imagine a world where we did not have these people, and it was not a pretty sight.

Truck drivers: I used to hate truckers while traveling. They hogged up the road, they were a pain to get around, especially on two-lane highways, but they also are the ones who keep those stores stocked up that I depend on so much.

Farmers: And who raises the food that gets put into those trucks? We are very blessed with the number of farms in our area, and the food supply network that they represent.

Computer programmers: Suddenly, a program named Zoom, that I never heard of before, is now the most indispensable communication tool since the phone went mobile. I am discovering all kinds of essential stuff for my phone and computer. I made fun of these geeks who designed these programs and those who championed them — but not anymore.

Repair people: Roof leak? Refrigerator on the fritz? Or my worst nightmare, a computer meltdown? (Had one of those a month ago!) These folks have never been more valuable than they are during a shutdown but deserve a tip of the hat (and maybe even a tip for the pocket) in the best of times.

Pastors: Some might be inactive right now, but I know a number of pastors who are working overtime to provide virtual worship services, virtual meetings with leaders, counseling the distressed, and all this with the mounting pressures of diminished funds due to the absence of church services where collections are routinely taken. Pray for your pastor; they are praying for you!

Journalists: I know this one might be slightly patronizing my own profession, but I cannot remember a time in my own life (and I was born when Truman was president) that we have so depended on accurate information. Too many journalists are more interested in their ego than avoiding error, but for those who can be trusted for their integrity are never more needed than they are now.

This list is endless. I am discovering hard-working, dedicated folks who have risen to the current challenge with incredible dedication and commitment. These include caring mothers, creative fathers, dedicated teachers, doctors, nurses, all health care workers, EMS, police, deputies, 911 call takers, foster care workers, grocery store employees, FedEx, UPS, and mail delivery workers, elected officials such as county commissioners, mayors, borough and township officials, and all the departments they represent.

All of these people have been in a boxing ring with one hand tied behind their back.

These are the under-appreciated. The under-understood are the small business owners who supply the backbone of our local economy. Their struggle to survive will be an ongoing story throughout this year. These ‘underground’ heroes are all around us, and they deserve to be noticed. Most of these do not have fancy titles or advanced degrees, but this crisis has highlighted the value of ordinary people doing extraordinary work in extra-extraordinary times.

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