Monday, October 3, 2011

I write this blog because I want a special someone to know how important his work is.  Day after day, he goes to work.  He doesn’t need to set the alarm clock because his internal clock rings.  That internal clock not only says it’s time to get up, it tells him that his family needs him, that there are people who are depending on his hands to make things work so they can do their job too.  The blue collar worker… not such a flattering title.  

While it may be true he looks good in a blue uniform, it is truer that the work he performs is extremely essential.  I propose we change that title to “essential workers”.  The work he does every day is essential.  His family has always worked with their hands.  It was during his childhood he learned which wrench fit which bolt.  He learned how to change brakes, repair alternators and rebuild engines.  In his spare time he learned how to plumb the kitchen sink and wire the light switch.  On weekends he learned how to plow the snow, re-roof the house and run a skid loader.

He may have not ever sat in a classroom learning the proper punctuation of sentences, how to develop a spreadsheet or how to trade stock on the NYSE.  But then again, we can all communicate without proper punctuation, we can write our numbers down on paper and he’s been bartering since he was about seven! 

I know hundreds of people who have gone to college and only a handful who can change a set of brakes on their car.  What has happened to our country, have we sent everyone off to college and forgotten to teach some to work with their hands?  Soon we will be out of workers and when that happens our society will fall to pieces. There will be no one to manufacture or fix anything.  We as a country must honor and appreciate the “essential workers”, for they are the ones who keep our lives in order.  A computer cannot fix our cars or build our homes or change our brakes.

Let’s stop saying everyone should go to college and start saying we need to teach our children a skill.  Not everyone needs to know how to install a program on the computer.  But we all DO need to know how to fix our own leaking toilet.