I've been thinking recently about how many people there are in the world who seem to be 'hidden from view'.
In a culture that appears to be a bit obsessed by people who are able to make a big 'noise' about what they do - including 'celebrities' who seem to dominate our media and social media and whom many people believe are the role models we should be following - it is easy to forget that actually it is not THESE people who often make the difference to our lives.
During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and especially during the first 'lockdown' it seemed, for a while, we got away from all this. There was a real emphasis on and people really began to recognise the contribution to our lives of people who we may be inclined to take for granted. People in the 'background' who not only keep the wheels of our communities turning, but at the time were even putting their own lives at risk so that we could be safe.
You know who I'm talking about? The nurses and doctors and medics who looked after us when we were ill and dying. That band of brave hearts, and masses of volunteers who are now making sure we all get vaccinated against this dreadful virus! Then there were those who kept the shops open so we could still get essential supplies and those who kept transport going. Teachers who kept the schools open especially for the children of those 'essential workers', those who ran foodbanks and delivered provisions to people who couldn't get out. Neighbours who checked on the people around them, people who drew rainbows and painted on pebbles, just to make us smile and feel happy.
Every Thursday evening we clapped for those who cared for us. People really showed their appreciation for those who had gone the extra mile and had shown so much kindness.
It was so refreshing!
One of the things I hope will be a legacy of the pandemic is that some of that kindness continues, along with our appreciation of people who in the past may have been 'invisible' to us.
Time will tell if that actually happens or whether we'll go back to our old ways of just taking people for granted.
In the meantime, as a reminder to me, I share this thought which I have found helpful.
And I just want to say ... to all those who make MY life better, more comfortable and easier to live, even if I don't know who you are and what you do ... THANKS! THANKS! THANKS!