"We invite you to please nominate your choice for the:
2011 Samaritan Heart Award.
We all know...citizens who have a heart for service... "
Followed by a form one may complete and submit, this filled a third-page in the local newspaper.
It is true that many of the citizens, friends and neighbors are involved in "volunteer" activities which will be recognized via these nominations. But my thoughts turned this morning to those who will never be recognized, yet their lives are lived every bit as heroically as are those of the ones who will be feted in the press.
What are the standards for the determination of life heroically lived in this community, as seen by Vanilla?
1. The individual owns a set of responsibilities to the job and/or the family and meets them.
2. The individual stays out of trouble, i.e., s/he is a "law-abiding" citizen.
3. The individual pretty much minds his/her own business, unless called upon to assist someone.
Can I think of anyone who qualifies? Indeed I can.
Theresa opens the doors of the cafe at four every morning except Sunday. She would be seen by most people, if seen at all, as a "hash-slinger" for she does her duty so that the linemen and the trash-haulers and the lawyers can chow down on good old "home-cooked" Hoosier food come breakfast time and lunch time. Theresa closes down about four in the afternoon after she has the place cleaned and prepped for the morrow, then she goes home. Minds her own business. That's what small-business owners do.
Delbert "gets the call" at 3:35 A.M.Monday morning of the long holiday weekend. He works for the "water company" and he is on call this weekend. He goes to the site of the "emergency" to discover the "break." He will make arrangements to deal with the problem, for it will require a crew. The next time we see him, Delbert may be five feet deep in mud and muck, but the repair will be affected. Then he'll go home to his kids and grandkids and mind his own business. That's how water company employees live.
The garbage truck went by the house at 11:20 A.M. There is a crew of three, one driver, two heavers-on. One of those two is Jeremy. He's just a kid, twenty-one years old. But he has a full-time physically demanding and sometimes smelly job. They start their route, five days a week, at six in the morning. Jeremy will go home to his own "digs" but he is still single, so he goes home to an empty house. But sometimes he visitis his sister and entertains the nieces and nephew. That's what responsible young people do.
Jess and I were born the same year. We lived neighbors to each other for a long time. Jess went to work, came home. Worked many hours in his yard and garden, shared the produce with us, and with others for his garden "worked!" Evenings, he would sit on the front porch, watching the world go by. Minded his own business. Jess loved and cared about his many children, stepchildren and myriad grandchildren and a whole raft of great grandchildren. Not remarkable? Oh, yes he was. He met the criteria. Jess will be buried tomorrow in the local cemetery. JESS 1934-2011 RIP
This list is incomplete, because there are literally dozens, yea, even hundreds, of people within a mile of my house who meet the criteria. The ones I have chosen are representative of pretty much most of the people who surround me!