In the small town in which I live, I recently saw a colourful poster staked on the front of lawn of an apartment building. It read as follows: Thank you all essential people!” The contributing artists had obviously spent time and effort to produce a poster that was as beautiful as possible. The message–no doubt–came from a sense of deep sincerity and gratitude.
As I drove past, I was struck with the another, deeper level, of the message on the poster. We should not assume, but in this case it’s impossible to write this article without doing so. Given the world’s current situation, it’s probably safe to state that the message was intended for first-line responders, paramedics, nurses, doctors, lab technicians and anyone else employed in work related to healthcare. If that’s the case, it’s wonderful that people are expressing their gratitude for work well done, especially during challenging circumstances. But what is the other message that is lying just under the surface of the words?
To me, the other message is akin to a situation that might occur in a large family; one in which there were ten children and two parents. Imagine how nine children might feel if one–and only one child–was repeatedly singled out for praise. Would not the nine other children feel, or possibly believe, that they were not special? And believing such, is it not likely that they might assume they had to work very hard to rise to be favoured–to be noticed, to be loved, and to be praised for the good that they do? Until they received that praise, however, those nine children might feel somewhat less than the child who had been praised. They might believe they were unworthy. To live with such emptiness is a desolate way to live; for it places many individuals on a treadmill from which they cannot escape.
The point of this article has absolutely nothing to do with whether health care professionals are the ones (deservedly) receiving praise; and everything to do with a point that is much broader in scope. To habitually praise the good we experience is a wonderful way to live; for it elevates all of us. As Meister Eckhart once stated: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. The point that I’d like people of the world to know is this: All of you are Essential! A whole is not whole–for such is impossible–without every one of its parts. That literally means that You–whether labelled John or Mary, Miguel or Ruta, Ajay or Urvina–absolutely matter! Your name is not your essence; nor is the label connected with whatever work you perform. Your essential Self is made of the one thread of Gold that weaves through all of us.
So: Thank you to All. You’re all essential. You were born for a reason–a good one. Your gift is unique to you. Be blessed. Be safe. Be happy. Be good to one another. You are loved. And just for the record: A sincere thanks to everyone who is experiencing the current situation in the world, including each and every health care worker! We’re in this experience called life…together.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell