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Virus kicking out vanity, restoring what's vital to people

The writer says the current pandemic has shown us that everyone in an organisation from the ground up is important.
The writer says the current pandemic has shown us that everyone in an organisation from the ground up is important.
Image: PIXABAY / Rawpixel

Four years ago, I wrote a column on what I believed was the best way to achieve success. One of the points I made was that on your climb up the ladder and on your way to success, no one is beneath you.

My thoughts were that in your career, chances are that you will work in organisations with a varied mix of people with different roles. Your most important job, which is in your best interest, is to remember always to uphold respect for others, at all levels.

In the first year that I went to university, some donkey years ago, my cousin dropped me off at the university residence. She told me if I respected the cleaning ladies at res, my stay would be a pleasurable and meaningful one.

I have taken that advice and philosophy with me everywhere I have been. It has served me well, in all the places I have been; I have yet to meet people who know the organisation's history as much as the long-term serving cleaner and driver. These people are a wealth of information that you will need at some point. And, no one is as loyal as they are.

In the past four years since I wrote that column, I have had moments of self-doubt every time I said that story out loud. And not a doubt about whether or not it was true but about my reasons for continuously feeling the need to say it. Was it to educate or to satisfy the sanctimonious devil on my shoulder?

A week ago, I had a conversation with a friend who works for a large retailer, where due to Covid-19, they too have had to make some changes to how they work. And one of those changes, has been to involve everyone, regardless of role and/or office in the warehouse and its operations.

Removed from the cushion that is her desk chair, in the warehouse, she began to understand a lot more than just the toll that warehouse work exerts on the body. Tracing the protocols in the warehouse showed her just how imperative each and everyone of those pickers and packers are to the operation. Sure, the structures above originate and put systems in place, and that is great but every machine needs oil for parts to work smoothly with each other.

And on the whole, if you look at where we are as a world that has been ordered to limit our lives to just the essential, how do we feel about the world order as is?

This crisis has shown us who in society is a necessity, an absolute must-have. We have been shown up for the idiots we have been, we have placed our love and relevance in places we had no business.

May we never again need a world crisis like this virus to remind us who and what is important in the world. It really is like a human body that is pushed, pulled and dragged on all sorts of direction until the cartilage in your knee runs out and you realise that every single part of who you are is equally important for your body to function at its optimum best. And may we realise that celebrities are largely the appendix, cute to have but no real value when the world needs it.

We need to get into the habit and practice of placing value where it is due. If we had had our priorities right to begin with, essential workers wouldn't have to face threat of life just to get to the jobs that make all of our lives easier.

Let's do better, now and beyond.

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