Warmer is the watchword for the Writing Porch. Mylo and MJ have joined me this afternoon. During my daily walk on Campus, I felt an upbeat attitude and feeling…as if something good was getting ready to happen. I have been reflecting on Forgotten People. They are almost everywhere that you turn. They tend to blend in with the scenery and are often unnoticed and underappreciated or unappreciated due to their humble attitude and leaning back when opinions and pronouncements are being uttered…while others lean forward in their customary self-anointed leadership roles.
Governance structures…especially of the volunteer variety…have a core nucleus…or some would say a clique…of people that are the movers and the shakers and whose opinions seem to weigh double as compared with the forgotten peoples’ weight of opinions… At times people leave church work due to feeling very unappreciated and somewhat hidden from the group. This is not only unfortunate but it is negligence and weakness in producing a strong faith community where everyone has a voice. It is an inexcusable loss of talent.
I made the case for many years to both chancellors and presidents at the University that they had a plethora of talent in the Civil Service Community that they were ignoring. This for the most part fell on deaf ears…or one of them would tell me what a good janitor that their janitor was or how terrific their groundkeeper was…or that the Civil Service Community were…’The Salt of the Earth.’ Patronizing platitudes are not sufficient and do not begin to solve the problem.
Pigeonhole is the term that best describes the marginalization of people. We live in a capitalist society that provides little to no ladders out of our pigeonhole confines other than money. Those who have proven to be adept at making a lot of money are idolized and lionized and asked to sit at the preferred seat at the banquet table. It is thought in polite society that the wise and the skilled are for the most part rich in this world’s goods. If that were the case…Christ would be the exception. The religious rulers of Jesus’ day were amazed and wondered where the itinerant preacher and his followers came from…as they definitely were among the Forgotten People…
Ukraine is undergoing war crimes and genocide on a daily basis. They are fighting and dying valiantly. How long will we say…’Those poor people…’ They are the faces that we do not have to confront…eye to eye…but what of the time that we are murdered and our women are raped and our children are slaughtered…while other nations stand back and watch and pray and offer…sanctions…
Populist politicians appeal to those who have felt ignored by the political elite for most of their lives. Many of us live in the middle of the political spectrum. We are neither ultra-right nor left-wing…we are people who seek that government that includes all people with no magnifying glass on any one group. Leaders who lift up the forgotten people are beloved and these leaders bring out the talents and skills and treasure chest of possibilities that these unnoticed members of the human family possess.
Whether noticed or unnoticed, I love your phrase “members of the human family”. We should all think like that. We should all care about others. A great post, my friend.
Thank you, my friend. You are too kind.
Boy, does your “pigeonhole” paragraph hit the spot for me this morning. It’s time for my annual performance evaluation, and though I always fare well on them, I’ve loathed them long before recent recognition of certain disabilities I am now aboe to acknowledge. Right now, having spent so many years killing myself to be “productive,” the productivity paradigm feels like one great big pigeonhole for everyone. There are better ways, for sure. There have ro be.
Yes, there must be better ways to acknowledge and applaud all of the gifts that one brings to the organization. I have witnessed so many talented people being evaluated through tunnel vision and subsequently the whole individual is missed due to the narrow perception of them.