There are thinkers, and thinker/doers and doers.
I thought about this the other day – Mother’s day, I was at the beach in California.
I was amazed at the elaborate, elegant and palatial homes built near the ocean.
Open the door, walk down the steps and you’re in the sand. It just so happened a home was either being "finished" or rennovated. The addition of a stack-stone wall and beautiful leaded windows were transforming the stucco-covered rectangles into an Old World villa.
Where did this masterpiece begin? Somewhere there was a thinker. Someone who conceived the design, thought about it and conveyed the design to someone who laid it out on paper. The architect handed it over to the draftsmen who finalized the detailed drawings/blueprints including necessary plumbing and electricity. Then the architect presented it to the potential buyer. Without too many add-ons or changes, the plan is accepted. Then the thinker/doers come into play. They have to know their stuff. How to read a blueprint. The contractors, and subcontractors, who gather the drywall experts, tiling, glazers, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers.
One of the most interesting of these groups are the doers: the guys that are paid by piecework or by the hour. They haul the rocks up the steps to the wall. They jockey the large drywall pieces into place. They carefully arrange tile into fireplaces, backsplashes, or elegant bathrooms. They are artists in their own rights. They aren’t driving the Rolls Royces or BMWs. They mostly have pickups…some workers drive together. They are tan and muscular, and they sweat in the hot sun, making our dreams – the ones in our heads (or someone else’s) that are now on paper – they make them a reality.
Oddly enough the honor of the magnificent home goes to the buyer. Most of the time this guy had nothing to contribute to the design or execution of the plan. He simply shelled out the bucks. And we give him honor. "Oh, what a beautiful home." "Thanks, we love it." And as we drive by – "wow, I wonder who lives there?"
We may think about the architect for a few minutes, but probably not about the draftsmen/engineers. And most likely not much thought is given to the tile layer, mason, carpet layer, plumber, electrician, and landscaper. And yet without the wage earner, the grunts, the laborers, there would be no beautiful home. There would simply be an idea, and perhaps a drawing. I struggle with the idea of a Rolls Royce hauling bricks in his trunk (although he might have a Cadillac SUV for such things). Still not an easy vision.
These grunts, laborers, hourly workers, are the soul of America. A lot of these hourly guys do things we wouldn’t think of. They work hard for their money. They don’t get the honor.
What does this all mean? We are all necessary. The doctors, educators, toilet installers, masons, framers, lawyers, cashiers, janitors, authors, realtors, and the guys you pay to pick up the dog flops. The ticket takers at the theater, the vendors at the ball games, the valets, the waitresses, and the busboys, and the linecooks.and the truckers who haul the tons of beautiful rock that Dr. Ivan Awfulot has ordered for his villa by the sea. The truth – I would love to have an elegant home overlooking the sea. In fact, it’s my dream. My material dream.
We all play a part. Yes, even the people the Internet has deemed "Walmart people." They all play a part. Each is worthy of honor. Each is worthy of respect. When you see a stadium full of people, or voters standing in line. Some are thinkers, some are thinker/doers, and some are doers…and... without the buyers it all would be for nought. It’s not a line of first, second, or third. It is a circle that continues…from inception to completion. Thank God for visionaries.
I don’t believe we should receive honor for one deed – I believe we should receive honor because of who we are. Human beings…most of us are human-doings...loving and providing for our families...working toward a dream...abiding by the laws of the land (except on the highway).
Personally, I’m glad there are so many varied types and talents of people. I love to drive through neighborhoods with amazing architecture and lovely landscaping. I’m glad to have a feast for the eyes by forward-thinking designers who make our city centers and town parks look so inviting. I’m grateful that I don’t have to do my own plumbing. That when there is a serious problem, I can simply call a guy who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and dealing in my dirt.
And I’m delighted that there are doctors (my husband's surgery was a success) and lawyers (defending us - prosecuting the bad guy) and engineers (I like flying and Lamborghinis) and other professionals (thank you for teaching me) who can afford to hire the architect to use the draftsmen. It’s great to see the trucks that say "general contractor" because that means that subcontractors, and drywall installers, glazers, framers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers - all will get a piece of the pie. Then when all the human-doings have done their part – I get to be a human being and just drive by and honor the artistry of them all.
We need to become a culture of honor.