They are the ones who help create a “village” for residents
By Bette Dewing
West Side Spirit’s “Building Service Workers Awards” section from last week’s edition has great news to live by—for everyone, but above all, for local policymakers. So please read it online or contact the paper for a copy. Read, share, emulate.
No, my column wasn’t in this “required reading issue,” but its “voice in the wilderness” and cries to advance our “village” and caring community, were mightily exampled in the 11 page profiles of the winners.
Share it with young people especially, who recent research finds are becoming increasingly less empathetic and concerned with the welfare of others. Small wonder, given the anti-empathy, the me-first themes that rule media, entertainment and the Internet. And the performer Lady Gaga is the number one Halloween costume of choice this year. Help!
All ages should read these stories where empathy and going the second mile is part of the winners work equation. Doing good deeds is the rule, not the exception or reserved for special occasions or only for certain tenants. All faith clergies could learn how their “love one another” creeds are acted out in their own backyard and could be acted by their congregations and parishes too.
This great believer in uplifting song power (everyone singing!) says, help the cause and revive old/good-timey tunes like: “You’ll find your happiness lies right under your eyes, back in your own backyard” and, of course, everyone’s favorite, “It’s a wonderful world.”
“Love thy neighbor” is sure appropriate with noisy ones being the number one lament to 311. Building workers are the front line of dealing with all manner of, unneighborly behavior and conflict.
Gee, this column didn’t start out to be about songs—but they sure help tell a story. So here’s to songs about building workers who create the village/community we need.
Such songs raise awareness of all the works that building service requires: the mental and physical multi-tasking, and being tactful to the untactful. Their street and building smarts are too little heeded by the bosses. And many have lengthy commutes in all types of weather, in darkness of night and early morning—and subway and bus service keeps getting cut.
These “everyday people” are often more like family than family for some residents, especially, but not only, for the elder ones. But one elder says her next annual greeting card shows a photo of her doormen and super. You get the picture.
Those alone, especially elders, know if they don’t show up at the usual time, the doormen will worry and check. These building workers have an empathic ear and response for the problems that tenants may share—more severe now with lost jobs and foreclosures.
And how we need a song about Rose, a truly neighborly East Side neighbor who fell outdoors two years ago with a second surgery needed. And when she finally, fairly recovered (thankfully she had a close and nearby family), she fell in her apartment. Ensuing weeks of surgery and multiple complications sadly caused Rose’s departure from this life two weeks ago.
Rose would surely head the list of doormen’s “favorite tenants.” She was always so concerned with their welfare, and how upset she’d be about Jose, one of her building workers, when he badly fractured one of his feet when it was struck by a car!
Her empathic and neighborly ways were what so endeared her to the staff and to those neighbors who welcomed “the village” Rose helped to create.
Again, read, share and emulate the Oct. 21 “Honoring the City’s Best Building Workers Award” section stories. And remember Rose.
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