Friday, January 12, 2018

Artisans of the Common Good

It's been a long hard year.

We've had leadership that is undignified, unprofessional, unkind at the highest level.

That places a pall over our country, even our world...
...and yet, every single day, in my world, I see kindness and compassion,
curiosity and integrity.

I drop my children off at school and feel grateful for the teachers who work so hard, every single day, to be role models and to find a way to educate every student in their class.

They come to school with difficulties of their own and yet, they place them to the side and advocate for with children...honor and cherish children...and the best of them set a child on a course of learning and growing that is life-changing.

I drop them off with gratitude in my heart...but I want to yell 

These teachers and principals, lunch people and custodians are
the very threads that make our country beautiful...
they are, as Pope Francis so gracefully said,
"artisans of the common good"

Yesterday, I went to an oak grove and I found a worker raking the path.

I listened as the rake clawed at the ground over and over, cleaning the way for people like me who enjoy wandering among tall oaks in the mist.

I smiled but I wanted to shout THANK YOU!

He is an artisan of the common good.

I mailed off a package that was important to me...
it holds a dream, an opportunity, a wish.

I handed it to Laura, one of the local people in my town who mails things off...
I wanted to hug her and thank her...instead I just gave her my few dollars - safe in the knowledge that my package would make it across the country because of her expertise.

Another artisan.

I walked my dog and noticed the street sweeper had swept the gutters of my street.
Another artisan...invisible but holding us together.

We have firefighters, policemen, 
nurses and doctors,
ambulance drivers,
city workers,
the highway patrol,
the people who build our bridges and smooth our roads,
the tree trimmers,
the park maintenance workers...who bring WD40 and find a way to help the swings lose the grinding metal on metal sound...honestly, these park guys do that (!)
we have people who plant flowers
and paint stripes on the roads,
the people who keep our electricity running
our water clean and flowing...
our garbage picked up,
our sewer system functioning,
our street lights on
our signs clearly marking the way,
our railroads in operation,
our city buses with wheelchair access...
we have artists who create public art...
farmers who bring their food to the local farmers market...
we have musicians playing on the sidewalk...and even bicycle taxis.
Our local co-op grocery store sponsors a candlelight walk at Christmas time...

Together, our community is a magical place...
the keyword: TOGETHER.

WE are who we have been waiting for.

WE are the artisans of the common good.
Every time you stop completely at the stop sign and wait your turn in traffic and truly only take 20 minutes or less in that 20 minute parking spot, YOU are contributing to the common good.

When you sweep your sidewalk, pick up the litter, share whatever extra you have with the people who have nothing, YOU are an artisan.

Today, I'm so very grateful for the people who go about their day just doing their good work...faithfully, professionally, honestly.

I'm so struck at the grace of that.

The interdependence we all have with each other.

Thank you, each one of you, for making our world a better place.

Deep breaths

Together, friends, we are the artisans of the common good.
We'll get our leadership to reflect our common good...soon, very soon.

Until then, craft your corner of the world with beauty and compassion.

Together, with other artisans.