“Essential Work”

My dad was out working the other week when someone heckled him questioning whether he was an “essential worker”. He admitted that he didn’t think he was. But after the previous lack of clarity from the government, they deemed services to be essential. The person came back again, seemingly wanting an argument. My dad didn’t rise to it, but came home later that day and told us the story, clearly moved by it. He hasn’t been “furloughed” like other workers and so hasn’t had up to 80% of his wages paid. The package the government has promised won’t come in for another few weeks. 

He had to make a choice: stay at home or not be able to provide for the family.

Thankfully, he has been able to limit his work to a minimum but it’s not been easy. 

I was frustrated by this stranger heckling my dad at first, but then we got talking about why the person might have been angry. Maybe they’ve lost their job. Maybe they’re struggling to provide for their own loved ones and take care of themselves. Maybe they live in a home where circumstances are very difficult. 

We do not know.

So we have a choice. Transfer our anger onto this stranger or look at their potential situation with kindness because we don’t know the burden their carrying.

What situation has made you think about the struggles someone else might be going through right now?

What is “essential” in your own life?