Rank and File
By Selma Pierce
2020 has been a really, really tough year for everyone. We’re still going through the COVID global pandemic. Our kids are struggling daily with on-line education. Many small businesses are fighting to stay alive, and many workers are worried about their employment. Race relations beg for reform and a better way. Portland is unsettled by nightly violent demonstrations and is not in a better place. Our Mid-Valley area has been severely impacted by the wildfires and its aftermath. Yet, Oregon is still a worthy place. Why? It’s because of the quality of those of us in the rank and file who do the constant hard work every day to ensure that Oregon is the best place it can be.
Our moms and dads, grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and friends are doing as much as they can to ensure that family members are getting what they need. Families are doing double/triple/quadruple duty to hold everything together. Families are working every day with students, watching over grandchildren, working while worrying about their own shrinking employment or lack thereof, caring for older family members with Alzheimer’s or other ailments, all at the same time.
Tough Moms and Dads
While helping kids with their online-schooling, moms and dads are having difficulty helping their students log-on, finding assignments that are lost in cyberspace, not knowing where assignments should be turned in, and fighting with the internet when it’s not cooperating. Where is the help for moms and dads who are out of the home working when “school” is in session? Everyone soldiers on.
Meeting Challenges Head-On
Even in the midst of this pandemic, our hard-working workers and business owners move ahead—modifying business operations to stay in business, opening new establishments, coming up with improved ideas of serving the public, and making adjustments to keep as close to “normal” as possible. Everyone is doing their utmost to keep customers and workers safe, serve clients well with kindness and concern, and deliver quality products. We take things in stride, pivot if we need to, and satisfy restrictions. What more should we be asked to do?
Gathering Together after Devastation
To those who lost their homes due to wildfires—you make us proud with the resolve that you display as you steadfastly proclaim, “We will rebuild!” It’s not easy to have everything destroyed overnight. And a big thank you to the whole community who stepped up with RVs, donations of needed supplies, and chipping in with meals even when you yourself have lost everything. Community above self.
For those who have been subjected to the lack of educational and employment opportunity and a lack of respect—you are Oregonians too. When one of us suffers, we are all diminished. We are one people. We need the efforts and talents of all Oregonians. We are in this boat named Oregon, and together, we will work toward better solutions. It is the Oregon way. Strength under pressure.
Quality People Are the Difference
As 2020 winds down, we are working together toward a common goal, and we are working together to make Oregon an even better place to live. Why? Because Oregon is our home, and we all have a stake in Oregon’s success. Oregon is strong and is a good place because of the strength of its people.