Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Guy In The Sky: How The World Is Serving You, Even If You Don't Notice

Look around. What do you see? Look again. You may be surprised...

"The world does not require so much to be informed as to be reminded." Hannah More

Have you ever been to Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon? It's a true treat, even in this day of Kindle, iPads, and SmartPhones. I know that other cities have their bookstore prides and joys as well, like the Tattered Cover in Denver, for instance. But Powell's is a major tourist attraction. One does not visit Portland without making the trip to Powell's. Otherwise, the visit to this fair city is incomplete.

One day, not long ago, I was browsing through a section on the 2nd floor, next to the large picture windows. I looked out over 11th Avenue, watching the traffic ease its way toward Burnside Street, the major east/west artery that divides Portland into north and south sides.

Then, for some reason my attention was drawn upward. Across the street is a building about 10 stories high. At about the 7th floor level, I spotted a window cleaner on a scaffold that was hanging over the edge from the top. It looked precarious; I got just a little jittery. There was enough of a breeze to create some movement; it swung just enough to make it look like an amusement park ride.

"What if that thing came loose? The young man would not survive the fall," I mused.

But there he was, calmly cleaning the windows with quick swipes of his squeegee, following up with white towels and more spray of some kind. He didn't seem to mind that his life was literally hanging in the balance.

I couldn't watch anymore so I took my books of interest and retired to the coffee shop on the first floor. After a few sips and a bit of scone, I once again contemplated the young man on the scaffold.

"He's doing a job that is rarely recognized as extremely important," I thought. "Yet, without that seeming menial work, those windows would be total messes. I wonder if anyone in the building ever realizes how important he is to them?"


We are often so busy in our daily lives that we take for granted all of the services that are being carried out on our behalf at any given moment. From the people who keep the elevators running smoothly in your high rise office building to the barista who makes and serves your coffee at your favorite caffeine hangout, to the guy who's dangling above the city in order to keep your view clean and spectacular, people all over your community are doing jobs that keep you moving, talking, working in as much comfort and convenience as is humanly possible. They are often invisible.

Could you take a moment to remember them and even thank them occasionally when you see them working on your behalf? I think they would appreciate it.

And if you're one of them, allow me to say thank you, right here and right now. You may go unnoticed in many circles. But always know that some of us are watching you and appreciating what you do. We know how valuable you actually are.

"Imagine that the whole world is awake except you. Let everything be your teacher. All are doing just the right things to help you learn patience, compassion, gratitude, and wisdom." (Buddhist teaching)

(I originally wrote this article for Ezinearticles.com. Please join me there for more inspirational musings and practical, spiritual information by clicking here. Thanks.

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