Here in East Tennessee almost all of our work is rural. Since the days when TVA came in and attempted to change the mountain mentality into the suave model of the cities, many of us still pitch in and help each other as opposed to relying upon the goverment. Along with the rural environment comes a tremendous amount of elderly inhabitants. Last week we were up in Unicoi doing a grass cut for a couple of pennies and across the street we saw an older lady rocking on her chair staring over at us. One of the segments of society I have a real soft spot for are the elderly. I was raised for a portion of my life by my grandmother and great aunt and that probably has a lot to do with it.
It would seem that as I would mow a course the lady across the way would adjust her glasses a little bit and look a little more sad. It is tragic really; tragic how society forgets the very people whom gave so much of their lives so that we have the benefits we have today.
After I had finished I noticed two things: First, the lady’s lawn was about 18″ tall. Second, it struck me as apparent that she was barely making it as there was a Pontiac Catalina in the dirt driveway. So, I went ahead and topped off the tank and drove the mower over. We spoke a bit and I mowed her lawn while she and my wife sat and had some tea on the porch.
Her husband had died a year earlier and they were without children. Other than the monthly visit from the sheriff’s deputies whom were tasked with visiting the elderly (a common thing up here in rural Appalachia) she had no one other than a cat and some of the most beautiful yellow bellied finches I have ever seen!
The moral of this story is that oft times we become so caught up in the rush to complete these jobs for the pennies that we make that we sometimes overlook those whom are even less fortunate than us. While the Corporations make billions and turn their backs on the disasters they have created, Contractors should take the time to remember the human components around them. The gratitude and appreciation in that woman’s eyes was worth ten thousand Safeguard Contracts to me! So, if you have time and see a neighbor in need along your route, why not help them out? Today it is they whom need the assistance. Soon, it may be you.