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The Unacknowledged, Unappreciated, and Forgotten Among Us

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My reflection on Randall Forsberg and how she was able to organize a mass movement that influenced the course of world peace set me thinking about the unacknowledged, unappreciated and forgotten among us. Because of the law of supply and demand, it is always easy to single out rare individuals whose lives had direct impact on large numbers of people: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, Albert Schweitzer, William Wilberforce, and you can add your own heroes and heroines to the list.

But what is equally true is that each of these famous people had parents. If for no other reason, the mere fact that a woman gave birth to any of these needs acknowledgment. And when these great individuals were kids some of them had babysitters. In the case of Gandhi, for example, his nanny taught him a powerful mantra which he used his whole life.

Many people make a lot of difference in the world without any acknowledgment, recognition or appreciation. At restaurants sometimes we see the name of the chef on the menu and he is recognized for the delicious dishes. But we never hear of the dishwashers and the cleaners. I wonder what happens to tips that servers receive. Do those who work behind the scenes share in them?

Which leads me to professions that are hidden from the public view but who make the system function properly. What happens when garbage collectors go on strike? When air traffic controllers take a break for one day? When those who work with the routers that control Internet traffic go to sleep?

Many more wonderful people do their jobs every day unacknowledged and unappreciated: those who take care of various forms of disabled people, underpaid home caregivers, the overworked nurse and the unseen hospital laundry workers as well as those who take care of the remains of the dead. They are all so important to the functioning of society.

One of these days will it not be great if we seek out someone who does the behind the scenes work and say: "Thank you."?




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I'm sooo not good at the little things these days : ) I actually remembered to call the bank only a few days after I entered a money move into the check register... luckily money to savings rather than from it! Short story long, I love these people. I hate computer dealings; I want to talk to someone at the bank, a human. When the transfer was complete, I said exuberantly, "Thank you soooo much, I really appreciate you doing that for me!" The teller paused, and then she laughed... like no one had ever said it before. Yep, appreciate people. If you never do anything else in your life, it will be what shines your halo!

Don't forget about Spiritual Directors. They are changing the world too. One person at a time. :)

One of the people who affected my life was my sixth grade teacher. My life could have gone several different ways. I had some great teachers who understood that my life might have been a little rough.

This particular teacher taught me something that I have yet to be able to name. He did it through unconditional love and acceptance. Not just of me but of my entire class.

After I graduated, I hunted him down teaching at a different school. I handed him my tassle and told him that without his influence, I may not have ever graduated from school. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to let him know that he made a difference in my life.............

Thanks for sharing this. The list of people we fail to recognize is a long one. Because of what they do bank tellers have a place on that list. Thanks for the reminder.

Not only Spiritual Directors, but therapists, counselors and social workers as well.

That was a moving story you shared. Do you remember his reaction or what he said when you handed him your tassle and told him how he touched your life?

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