Every day when I walk I see men building houses. Every day. I don’t smile when I walk or even think of talking to the builders because a woman has to act that way for safety. My true personality is always to laugh and act funny, but if you see me walking, my face is completely blank, serious and without expression, just to be safe.
But my mind is thinking. I see these builders and I think, “Wow, I don’t know how to build anything, or how anything works. I complain over little things, and these men are here at sunset, in all weathers, breathing in dust, moving crazy heavy material, climbing up to heights that I can’t even imagine, to build a home for you and me, and yet we don’t even look at them. Much less thank them, we think they aren’t educated or highly intelligent. And yet which one of us can build a house? They are told what to do and they don’t complain, they build the most difficult of things in a perfectly precise manner, walls, pipes, roofs, ways to reach electricity, etc. All I’m thinking is wow, how, how do they do that?” As I walk with a blank, serious stare, seemingly not to turn or appreciate anything. My mask, my security.
I think of cleaners and janitors. I also walk by the office, at my apartment complex in the morning, where I see a group of them getting ready to clean. Serious faced I remain, but because I’m in my complex I feel safer, so not as serious as when I walk outside of it. I smell the strong smell of the disinfectant chemicals, their cart filled of cleaning materials, mops, and the like. Hurrying to and fro wherever they are sent. In my head I think, “How can they stand that smell, practically intoxicating their lungs to clean every day, which one of us would join them to clean with them? How do they not get angry at being ordered and seemingly overlooked and unappreciated? Which one of us could run everywhere with speed, breathing chemicals, cleaning here and there without a scowl on their face?” Same thought crosses my mind, “How do they do that? And how are they undervalued when it is a job you have to have some serious mental conditioning and self-control to not feel like a mechanical vacuum, but a human being.” Do you really think anyone wants to pick up after you, and clean your mess? Do we clean our own mess or anybody’s mess for that matter? How? How do these people do that and not just beat everybody up by how they are scrutinized, overworked, demanded, and degraded by some (not all people, but some)? How? And yet they are every bit as human as you and I, every bit, with a mind, feelings, emotions, fears, and desires, but with a hell of a lot of self-control and humility, damn!
That’s something serious. We live through the validation of our egos. We live through trying to impress by how we dress, who we know, and what we do. These builders and cleaners have got to have a high level of self-esteem and inner strength because the level of hardship they face everyday is clearly overlooked. They are not praised or placed on a pedestal. No one is taking pictures of them and putting them in magazines. And yet they still live. They create, they help us in magnificent ways. What a mind they have. One where they work their bodies off, WITHOUT looking for validation, and while many times overlooked, they continue. Now that right there my friends, is wisdom lived out. Doing the jobs we wouldn’t want to to, as we seek the pleasure of our five senses, and idolize jobs behind a computer screen, using our “minds”, where we are proud to tell others where we work, where we are praised for our art or abilities. What if we were never praised? What if we were never appreciated or validated? Look at these people. They, they are the ones with real mental and emotional strength, for validation and praise they seldom get. And yet these builders and cleaners are placed on a demand and treated the way you and I would resent to the depths of us. Wow, all I can say is wow, I admire the mental conditioning they have to withstand it! I wish I had that myself.