When the pandemic hit in 2020, an odd term became part of our common vernacular: “essential worker.”
As some states implemented massive shutdowns, many people were forced to stay home — whether or not their work could be completed remotely. Only certain professionals, those deemed absolutely necessary to a barely-functioning society, were allowed to continue working as usual.
While people like first responders, healthcare workers, and grocery store employees certainly provide crucial services, the term “essential worker” is misleading.
In reality, we are all essential. Our actions don’t exist in a vacuum. Every decision we make affects someone else, and when millions of people are forced to stop going about their normal routines, there will be national consequences.
When dine-in restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, and other “non-essential” businesses were forced to close, the economy came crashing down. Millions became unemployed, had to turn to government welfare, and struggled to make ends meet. Even charitable giving took a dip, as more and more Americans had to tighten their own belts. This affected truly essential work that charitable organizations provide on a daily basis for those most in need.
What’s my point? My point is that you are essential. It doesn’t matter whether the government gave you that title in 2020. The contributions you make to society, like where you eat, where you shop — where you give — have a real-life impact not only for you, but for others as well.
–Kerby Anderson is host of Point of View Radio Talk Show and also serves as the President of Probe Ministries. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and Georgetown University (government).