Rise of the Service to Humanity

Rise of the Service to Humanity

A new class of service industry: Human Essential Service Sector (HESS)

The neighborhood connection app called Next Door had a shout-out posted for a local handyman who went above and beyond to help an elderly couple fix various things in their home. The original call was to fix a leaky faucet, but this handyman knew the couple needed more. And he provided for them by fixing a couple of light fixtures, a plumbing issue, and a window that needed repair. He did all the extra fixes pro-bono because he could, and they were in need.

A rising class of people cut across industry, geography, age, gender, and race that is in service to humanity. I call it the Human Essential Service Sector (HESS).

It’s a class of people that have been around for a long time, but it feels to me like they deserve a spotlight and a healthy round of applause.

The commonality between this special type of service sector is the focus on service to humanity. Maybe this is one of the COVID-silver-linings? Maybe it’s the heightened need during extraordinarily challenging times, but I don’t think it’s my imagination that I see it more and more.

Who’s part of the Human Essential Service Sector?

  • Think about the front-line workers during COVID — the people who work in health care, paramedics, social workers, police officers, and other law enforcement.
  • Add to that the grocery store and retail employees, restaurants that feed us, and all the farmers, growers, and delivery-line system workers that put food and products on our tables.
  • Include the public services sector of repair people, infrastructure employees, energy sector, water and waste management, communications and IT, residential community managers, and manufacturers.
  • Include, too, the special service sector that trains and guides businesses and municipalities through DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) complexities.
  • Add in the conscious or Purpose-driven sector of business people who are focus on the triple-bottom-line or quadruple-bottom-line stakeholder outcomes.

Now, think about who you know that is included in this class of people and why they are important to you. It’s my feeling that this is a vital narrative that spotlights a unique sector of our society, during times when we all needed it most.

Most HESS workers are unsung and lower-wage employees, doing their best just to get by. One stat shared by the Public Policy Institute noted that “People of color make up the majority of essential workers in food and agriculture (50%) and in industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services (53%).”

I’m asking you to ask yourself…
Pause and think, just for a moment, how extraordinarily beautiful, necessary, and valuable this Essential Human Service Sector is. How have they made your life, your work, your family, your everyday world better, simpler, safer, and easier?

Perhaps it’s time we’ve paused to appreciate them (and you) for the vital work that’s being done.

Perhaps it’s time to thank them (and you) for their work and their sacrifices.

Perhaps it’s time to count our individual and collective blessings.
  Maybe I’m alone in my belief that the long arc of time bends towards the goodness of our humanity. Sure, we’ve seen our fair share of selfishness, greed, and egotism in our culture, and that won’t go away anytime soon.

However, I see more and more evidence that the better angels of our nature are rising to meet the needs of our humanity. I suspect that you are contributing to the goodness of our humanity in your own way. And for that, I thank you!

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