Column: Uncommon heroes


A listening ear for an HVAC pro during a family crisis leads to a friendship; a handshake and family conversation leads to above-and-beyond construction debris removal; and two pizzas and Gatorade on a hot day leads to digging a trench for my mom.


Brent, Eduardo, Tommy, Jason, Rick . . . to name a few. Men who go above-and-beyond. Heroes, in my mind. No, not front-line health care workers, but men who get up at the break of dawn and labor through the day to ensure we have heat, our trash is taken, our water is hot, or maybe to make our homes a little nicer.

Crawling through attics on 90-degree days or laying pavers for a new patio in the hot sun, they work hard to provide for their families while making our lives better. These men have taught me the value of a kind word, a listening ear and respect – values I was raised on.

These men remind me of the importance of pride, kindness, integrity and friendship. As there are no shortcuts in quality construction, there should be no shortcuts in being kind in everyday interaction.

Whether it is the trashman, the plumber, the HVAC repairman or the yard laborer, they are sensitive, take pride in their work, they cry, they struggle with life, their career, their kids and paying the bills. My connection with these men year after year is priceless. Yet, they aren’t friends I grew up with, or met in college. They are friends made in the crosswalks of everyday life.

As we move into 2021, pause for a moment and see who makes your life better. Perhaps you left a gift for the mail carrier – think about doing the same for your trashman.

Perhaps it is an especially cold day and your home is being serviced — a cup of coffee would be a nice treat for the workers. Perhaps a plumber is replacing your water heater — a caring question about his life and family would mean a lot. Your kindness might just lead to a lifelong friend.

So, here’s to my heroes keeping the heat on, the water running and houses looking good. I am proud of you and glad you are my friends. Brent, Eduardo, Tommy, Jason, Rick . . . thank you for your service!

Tom Weesner is the president of Motion 4 Life Fitness


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