I began working a part-time, secretarial job last week for a seasonal business. Upon reflection, I realized that everyone is so focused on getting their work done, that I am a bit invisible. I’m only visible to the extent that I meet their needs, i.e., writing checks, answering phones, etc. Otherwise, they do not have the time, nor the inclination, to learn who Janet is. For instance, they know nothing of my family, my writing, my religion or my love of learning.
It occurred to me when I realized this that it’s possible that I carry this same tendency toward the poor. I started thinking, what do I know of them? How do they get noticed? Is it only when they meet a need (think migrant workers, for instance) that they get noticed? No, not from my experience. Meeting someone else’s needs is not enough to get you noticed.
If you are poor, you may do a job, but I still do not know who you really are. I do not know what you are like, your family makeup, or even if you have a religion. Often, you are collectively considered by terms such as “they” or “them.” You don’t even get the benefit of being noticed for your individuality.
That’s terrible. Just terrible. How are the poor supposed to get noticed? Do they have to interject themselves somewhere in order to be detected, or must they simply wait until others sit up and take notice?
Take some time this week to notice those around you, and those whom you typically overlook. See them, really see them. Invisibility is simply not acceptable.