I’ve been lucky enough to have a safe night out and safe passage home this evening. I’ve had a great night with great people and the greatest people of the evening were the ones I didn’t even consciously recognise. Given it’s the christmas season and it’s time for us to recognise and thank the people that help us in our every day lives I think it’s more than fair to think the every day heroes who keep our systems and institutions humming along brilliantly.
I had the great luck to be able to talk to a Sydney Trains guard and driver and thank them for their work tonight - giving up their evening and their time and the time of their families to keep us safe and keep us moving. One of the guards I talked to said he was on the tail end of a 10 hour shift and every second they were delayed by kept him away from his lift home and his family. The train was delayed because a few pissheads had decided to cause a ruckus further down the line - and the ramifications ebbed on continuously - a dickhead getting on the froths too hard and starting an argument or arcing up was keeping this bloke from seeing his family at a time when he’s most in need of their comfort but also in demand by the public.
It might seem weird to ruminate on the people that keep our society functioning but I think these people constantly toil away helping us get from point A to point B and to get by without much applause or recognition of the work they do and the hard yards they put in. This christmas if you can do one thing, do this - take out the headphones when you’re getting off the train or bus and maybe a minute or so before hand (on a bus at least) say g’day, wish the driver a merry christmas and honest to goodness thank them for their work. It’s the least they deserve for copping such a hard slog and keeping our institutions ticking over. At least once a day thank someone you wouldn’t previously for their hard work - it might seem like a token effort but every expression of human kindness and recognition of human dignity is an exemplar for the capabilities of humanity. This christmas we should all endeavour to give the gift of a few smiles - it’s the most human thing we can do.