Bob Denny: Is it broken?


Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

Did you ever think about it: One little wire comes off, and your car is dead in the water? One nut missing from your bike, and it’s a “no-cycle” instead of a “bicycle?” It seems that with all machines, every part is equally important. Without even one of its parts, it just won’t work!

Now that I think about it, isn’t the national economy a machine? If even one part isn’t functioning, things just come to a standstill! To our keep it running, every part need to do its job, to keep all our national needs satisfied. If even one part of the economy stopped, we would lose our access to our food, water, power, fuel, communications, commerce, utilities, and even security and protection. We would be “dead in the water.” As a civilized country, we would in effect fall apart!

Just as with any machine, every part of the machine is vital for it to function. Every position in the economy is as important as any other part. The job each person holds is as important for our society to work as any other job. We need producers of goods and services, supervisors, managers, executives, and public services. We need the military and civilian government people, teacher, and leaders. All are necessary.

Probably the largest segment of this economic system is labor. The labor force is the largest category of jobs. Every day, skilled and unskilled laborers work to find, mine, and deliver natural resources. Laborers transport resources and do manufacture, building, and maintaining equipment and produce millions of products we depend upon. Workers provide the necessary and wonderful services that we want and need. Laborers dismantle, demolish, or remove everything when we’re done with it.

It’s true: There’s Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Grandparents’ Day, Secretaries’ Day … They’re all jobs equally needed to make the whole thing work. But let’s take this week to give that extra thought and that appreciation for our too often “unsung heroes.” As you go through your week, make an effort to notice and acknowledge those workers who you cross paths with--industrial, services, repairs and maintenance, utilities, tradespeople. See who you can find that you haven’t given much thought or appreciation to this year. A “thanks for what you do” from you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Bob Denny is a licensed mental health therapist in Florida who teaches psychology and human growth and development at Florida Gateway College.

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