I would request, work.
Back when I worked, I stayed busy. Working on a manufacturing floor, there was always something that needed to be done. From setting up, to changing, to what ever, it was constant motion. Days off work were filled with the things that couldn’t be accomplished during work days. Then, I lost my job and was left standing looking at hours to fill. I had no concept of just sitting.
I took one look out the door and decided I would use the time to clear away years of neglect. At that time I still thought I was going to be called back when things picked up. Yeah, I’m that naive but that’s another story. Thinking I only had a few weeks at most, I dove in with vigor. I set up sections and cleared each one before moving to the next. Slowly and methodically I worked my way around the house. With the overgrowth and other debris gone, the yard was really beginning to look much better. Some areas had not been raked in years, I dragged so many loads of leaves down the hill it looked as if I were creating my own mountain range of leaves. When I finished the yard, I moved to storage buildings. When I finished mine, mom had one she needed cleared. I wasn’t getting paid in dollars, but I was working, staying busy and getting stuff done. All the while a friend was telling me I needed to be writing.
Eventually, I made my way back to here. To pick up writing and publishing to a blog site I had all but abandoned long ago. Its different now, better. Now, a little over a year after losing that job. A year after reclaiming my yard from the jungle it had become. I find myself again facing empty hours. But I am writing. I am sharing thoughts, ideas, hopes, wishes and all the while wondering, is this my work? The work that I would request. If it is, what would I hope to produce? What results would I desire?
My heart answers with, attention. Not to me, not about me, not focused in any way on me. Attention to the world around us and what is going on. This world, is fast becoming a frightening place for so many. When you see the photos and reports of the wildfires. When you see the photos of rivers and lakes going dry. When you see the reports of earthquakes. When you see the photos and videos of the Afghan people fleeing, so desperately seeking freedom they are willing to risk their life. That is where and on what I desire the attention.
When you see the reports of riots and the resulting destruction. When you see the homeless on the street, or the lines of cars filled with people seeking food for their family. When you see the cold huddled in clothing not meant for winter. That is what I want seen.
When there is violence, domestic abuse of any type. When there is someone struggling. When there is pain of any type and form. When there is struggling to be better. Where there are those who are in need, any need. That is what I want noticed. That is what I want to be acknowledged. That is what I want to work to get attention to and help for.
I keep seeing the photos, the one of nearly seven hundred people crammed into an evacuation plane in Afghanistan. I see the videos of people clinging to the side of the plane as it moves. I see the photo that is someone falling from a plane. Desperation.
I see the photos of the fires. I see videos of people trying to make their way through the fires to escape. Desperation.
I see the people turning away, kneeling, ignoring, seeking attention to a need. Desperation.
I see the people standing on the side of the road with their cardboard sign, desperation.
My birthday is approaching. I know that there will be those on social media who get the notification and will type out the standard happy birthday message. What I would prefer, is that they acknowledge that they see the work I have been given. That in some way, the humble words written, will be noticed and taken to heart. No, we can’t load up in a car, bus or plane and fly over to rescue citizens of Afghanistan. But we can stand in a line helping spoon out food for the hungry. We can go through closets and find the good clothing that is no longer worn to donate. We can go purchase the less expensive gloves and scarves and give them to those who need. We can do the small things. We can do the compassionate things. We can see the work before us, and respond.
I saw a video this morning of where an employee at a wildlife center went to feed an alligator. It wasn’t overly large and was in an enclosure meant for visitors to be able to watch. This alligator without warning (do they ever?) grabbed the employee and dragged them into the enclosure and began doing the death roll move. Without hesitation, onlookers sprang into action. Calling for help, one adult moved all the children from the area while another jumped in and stopped the alligator. As the employee remained calm, explaining how they could get the alligator to open its mouth. The article stated that thanks to their involvement the employee would be fine. Let us all be so brave. To act on what is placed before us without hesitation.