The cold is upon most of us in North America – apparently due to global warming and/or climate change, according to proponents for both. Whatever. One thing is certain: While many of us are bemoaning the subfreezing temperatures, ice, sleet and snow, we’re doing so for the most part in the comforts of our homes or heated, climate-controlled workplaces. “Brrrr!” we declare, gazing out our windows.
That’s why I have great respect and admiration for people that don’t have that option. Like mail carriers who still ascribe to the motto, “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." (That, I understand, is the correct wording.) And those who deliver our morning newspapers, although they are a vanishing breed. Unless the roads are really bad, they’re faithfully carrying out their responsibilities.
When disaster strikes and our power goes out, leaving us without electricity and with temperatures steadily dropping between our four walls, or when freezing temps burst water mains, noble utility crews are toiling away despite the elements – cold, wind, frozen precipitation.
Law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers don’t get “snow days,” and crews charged with clearing our streets to restore safe travel obviously can’t take the day off because of snow and ice.
Hospital staffs must somehow get to work, since sick people don’t suddenly get better when winter storms move in. And news crews must mobilize to keep us updated on the latest weather developments – although I think some of them actually like being on camera with icicles hanging from their noses.
Thinking of the yeoman’s work these people perform, I’m reminded of a passage in the Bible that states, “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor…. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it” (1 Corinthians 12:22-26).
During good weather we give little thought to the individuals that carry out no-matter-what-the-weather-is kinds of jobs. In many cases they probably wouldn’t be careers we’d want our children to aspire to, but when needed they become the most important people in our communities.
So I commend them for their diligence and sacrifice to help the rest of us stay comfortable, warm and safe. And the next time it snows or ices over, turning our roads into skating rinks and ski slopes, please know: We appreciate you all!
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at email@example.com.