Being Deemed Non-essential Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Important

Here I am adjusting to working at home all the while nurses and doctors and other healthcare workers are battling away with limited resources to save lives from a nearly invisible monster that only surfuses under a microscope and the wreckage it leaves when it attacks a body. Suddenly across the state (and the country for that matter) thousands of positions were deemed non-essential dealing a blow not only to all kinds of industries, but to the individual psyche. What does it mean to be non-essential? Who doesn’t like to think of themselves as operating with purpose and making the world a little better or at the very least moving toward a defined goal?


The deep loss of purpose is part of  what makes the world ache right now. People that normally would be highly active suddenly are told to be still like Max’s command in the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are”. The usual worth a person provides is no longer needed. The body still has momentum toward that work as it is pulled back, restrained by an understanding there is a greater good to attend to. These bodies designed for working want to throw themselves into a new purpose, but there is a shaking up of what that looks like. Creating instructional videos? Making masks? Learning how to go out for walks? Bringing beauty into the world amid crisis? Paying closer attention to playing games with the kids?


Make no mistake, being non-essential is a far cry from being non-important. The world still needs you. Admittedly the needs might be a bit less defined or slightly more opaque, but they are no less real. Maybe it is as simple as waving to Tammy the postal lady as she delivers the mail, sending a note of encouragement to a friend,  or using your camera phone to show how to make ginger juice. The bottom line is you are essential no matter what orders have come done.

And now a poem (sort-of):

The reason for the weekend is to come to work on Monday and drink coffee from Styrofoam cups and talk about

The kids sporting events

Just staying home

Nothing exciting

Going out to dinner

Hung out with friends

Wrote a song

Finally got the room painted

Started a book about trees