Monday, May 3, 2010
Learning the ropes
There were young men on the job who delighted in an opportunity to perform feats of extreme danger. They could hang all day by ropes against the canyon walls, as if performing a highwire act.
Yet there were also men such as the elderly gentleman who had to close his store for lack of customers, due to a downturn in a once thriving economy, leaving only a sign on the door that said: Stay well.
As the lone pharmacist in his small town, now without a drugstore, he knew people would have to travel thirty miles away for their medicines, or more likely, go without. It was difficult to leave them. Yet this day in May, 1931, under the hot sun of a brilliant Oklahoma sky, this man started out all over again, heading west. Heard there was work on a dam being built in the middle of the desert. Hitched a ride and said good bye to his past--determined himself to stay well.
There were many men like this that came to the Hoover Dam to work during this hot, dry month of May. Yet having to learn the ropes by working a job they'd never done before didn't give them reason to complain. A job was a job and they knew it had to be done the best they could do it. Otherwise there was somebody else waiting in line for the chance.
With more hope and guts than even they expected to have, these older men didn't arrive asking to be cared for, or asking who was going to help them. They had to set their pride down and be set apart by their willingness to learn and to keep well, despite the harshest conditions.
Thus their hard work without complaint truly involved a greatness of spirit. A formula ensuring care for the deepest of needs.