Sunday, April 21, 2013

Human endeavors worthy of attention

People tend to zero in on certain things.  This past week, everyone was talking about Boston.  A few months ago, it was Newtown.  Explosions, bombings, shootings, they happen all the time all over the world, and usually we ignore it.  There are just certain ones that capture the attention of the nation.  People pay attention to events which they feel could have happened to them, or to someone they know.  They ignore it when they think it only happens to people who are different -- people who live in another country, or a different kind of neighborhood.

It's not only bad things that draw the attention.  There's a certain type of positive story that attracts attention.  The heartwarming stories, the dramatic stories, the stories of a particular moment, a particular deed.

What people don't pay attention to is the everyday hard work that it takes to build something good.

I can't really blame people.  We evolved this way, to pay attention to certain things. But we also evolved with the power to reason and make choices.  And my choice is to think about the everyday hard work that it takes to build something good.

  • Parents going to work, earning money to provide food, shelter, and clothing for their children.
  • Parents listening to their children, playing with their children, treating their children with respect.
  • Musicians, dancers, and dance callers putting in hours of practice in order to learn to do something that will strengthen bonds of community.
  • Event organizers, attending to all the logistical details, in order to create an event which will strengthen bonds of community.
  • Organizers of community gardens.
  • Pedal People, which uses bicycles for taking items to be recycled, and delivering produce from local farms.
  • People who lead nature walks. 
Those are a few who come to mind at the moment.  The list is endless.

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