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Spontaneous Overflow Reflecting in Tranquility

The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Thoughts by Myself # 11 - Appreciation

Shopping isn't so much fun anymore.

I used to enjoy grocery shopping. I like to see what’s in the stores, browsing for something I didn't know I even wanted, and finding it is something I can't live without! Now shopping has become an epidemiological nightmare and an ethical dilemma. I should only go shopping once a week at the most, maybe even every two weeks to limit exposing myself and my fellow shoppers. I see anything entering the house as some kind of foreign invader that needs to be sprayed down, wiped off, or fumigated. How long do I need to quarantine it in the garage?

Going into the stores, you can feel the anxiety. People are wearing elaborate face coverings, plastic gloves, and trying to get in and out as soon as possible. I am even starting to judge people not wearing face coverings while trying to remember not to touch or pick up anything until I want it. How am I supposed to buy avocados without a little squeeze or a melon without a smell?

So Many People Take Care of Me

During this time, I find I appreciate people who work in retail, sanitation, restaurants, corrections, fire service, law enforcement, news and broadcast, hospital staff, postal service and others putting themselves at risk. I never realized how many people I need to do those "hidden" jobs so that I can stay home. I admire the mental health and addiction workers who go to work every day helping people during a time when the anxiety, fear and worry is in the air we breathe.

Perhaps I will be less likely to take them for granted. That is the biggest challenge I see. We are all very aware of these everyday heroes right now when the risk is the greatest. What happens when there is less risk? Can we maintain this sense of humble awareness of what a gift these people are to us?

We are so used to complaining, looking for problems, and worrying about ourselves. This is a time to step back a moment and think about those folks who are risking their health and maybe their lives to make sure we have what we need. Perhaps this is a time to thank these un-sung heroes working for us every day. They have to go to work while many of us can work from home.

Write a Letter of Thanks – Snail Mail!

Here’s something easy:

In this time of social distancing, I can't shake someone's hand, pat them on the back, or give them a hug. But I can write a letter. It's so easy to write a letter of complaint when we get worked about some wrong that happened. What about a letter of appreciation?

Send a letter to your favorite grocery store, news station, fire station, police station or coffee shop thanking them for their service. You know, like an actual letter with an envelope and a stamp! I suspect your message will get posted on the employee bulletin board.

Wouldn’t that be a brilliant way to reach out and let people know how much we appreciate their work for us?

I have a whole new appreciation for these fellow citizens who don't look for any credit, because they are just doing their jobs, but who make such a massive difference in my life.

I am writing a letter right now.

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