Every morning we wake in a warm house, complete with a hot shower. Outside the day’s newspaper is at our doorstep and our mail will soon be delivered.  When ready to leave the house, we will take our trash to the curb to be picked up, and then drive on paved roads to our clean and comfortable work places.

Have you ever stopped to consider, that for every little detail in this example of a morning ritual, someone has made certain that our lives run as smoothly as possible.  These folks are who I call our “Hidden Heroes,” as they go about their jobs – sometimes never seen nor heard – just to keep our cities and towns on track.  These Hidden Heroes are not usually featured in the news.  They seldom receive credit for a job well done and are rarely even noticed…until something fails.

As we hurry through our Christmas season, busy with our lists of errands, let us stop to consider the impact our Hidden Heroes have on our lives.

garbage collection workersOne of the messiest jobs has to be that of the trash collectors.  Yet, week after week, these folks show up for work before the break of dawn and begin their routes.  Trash collectors provide a service that we depend upon and need desperately.  Just imagine what we would do with the tons of trash we each produce weekly!  Where would it go?  This year let us all make an effort to show our sincere appreciation for the dedication of our trash collectors, our first group of Hidden Heroes.

Another tough job that gets little thanks is the hot work of the road crews.  We notice these Hidden Heroes mostly in the summer when the heat is unbearable and the tar with which they use to pave is scalding.  All of us contribute to the wear and tear of our streets and roads, but seldom do we say thanks as we drive by a crew at work.  Next time we drive by a road work crew, say “Thanks” or wave.  It will let them know we appreciate their efforts.city-workers1

Since I know nothing about how our water, sewage and gas departments operate, I will package together this group of workers.  [I must beg forgiveness from this group for my ignorance in the details of your areas.] Many travelers to foreign lands will tell you that you don’t know the meaning of “unclean” until you’ve seen a third world country.  Together, these Hidden Heroes make sure that we have clean water to drink, sewage systems that continue to operate properly, and gas lines that provide power to heat our homes and kitchen appliances.  Try going without water, sewage and gas services for just one week and you will know how very much these guys mean to us.

electric“Storm’s a’coming,” is the action phrase for the next group of Hidden Heroes – the electric workers.  Again, it is amazing to realize just how dependent we have become on our utilities.  Through the aftermath of rain, wind, tornadoes, or snow and ice storms, these teams literally risk their lives to reconnect our energy source.  There is no rest for our electric utility crews when Mother Nature shows her power.  Let us thank this group of heroes for their courage to tackle problems under such dangerous conditions.

The last of my list of Hidden Heroes for this week are seen everywhere, but seldom thanked.  These folks are the janitorjanitors and cleaning crews that keep our hospitals, schools, offices, restaurants and other places clean.  Like the trash collectors, sometimes these jobs are some of the most unpleasant.  This year let’s all make a special effort to say “Thanks, you’re doing a great job.”

December is the time of year when the world celebrates:  Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord Christ; Jews celebrate Hanukkah; and other faiths will observe their respective rites and traditions.  Take time to begin a new tradition with your family, one of being thankful and grateful to our Hidden Heroes who make our lives easier, and that is…Why It Matters.thankyou


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