These Are The Workers Who Quietly Make This Country Run

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Two warehouse workers inspecting at copper pipeAmericans lionize athletes, performers, and even politicians; yet ignore much more important people.

In quiet anonymity, for far less money and prestige, millions of people make America run. The country could easily survive without its athletes, performers, and yes, its politicians but it couldn't survive without its regular folks. So in honor of Labor Day, I thought I'd honor the ordinary workers who make our country run.Take the millions of K-12 teachers. They've always been key to our children, our future but their task has become much more difficult. They're often required to teach a curriculum so ratcheted-up that, I swear, I, who have a PhD from Berkeley and taught in its graduate school, would have a helluva time learning. Here's just one of the hundreds of required standards in the Common Core Curriculum for 8th grade!

Understand that a function from one set (called the domain) to another set (called the range) assigns to each element of the domain exactly one element of the range. If f is a function and x is an element of its domain, then f(x) denotes the output of f corresponding to the input x. The graph of f is the graph of the equation y = f(x).

Lest you think I cherry-picked, HERE is the link to all the high school math standards.

Or take our plumbers. Contorting their bodies to reach and gain leverage over that pipe, they break their backs, sometimes literally, to clean out human waste and to muck in the mud to replace underground sewers. Shouldn't we pay more homage to them than we do to Alex Rodriguez, Lady Gaga, or the media's political darling du jour?

How about our nurses? Most of them too must spend time with bodily fluids and additionally are often faced with life-and-death situations plus the anguish of seeing patients in pain, dying, and dead. And nurses are critical to all of us---They're more likely to save our lives than are all the politicians put together.

And then there are our police officers, risking their lives to protect ours while under microscopic scrutiny from the community and the media. They work under incredible stress. Just imagine what it's like to go into a dangerous housing project even just to try to break up a domestic dispute, worried that one of the disputants or another of the apartment's residents will burst out and shoot you. Or more often, get in your face. And you're expected to stay completely professional 100 percent of the time. One "excessive force" and your career is over.

So next time you find yourself swooning over some weirded-out rock star, steroided athlete, or evasive politician, I invite you to think about whether other people are more worthy of your ardor. May we remember that long after Labor Day has passed.

And to all of you who do work in quiet anonymity to make this country run, I am grateful.
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