Kent Bernhardt: We need each other

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2019

Kent Bernhardt

My neighbors had some large trees removed from their yard recently, and I watched nervously from my den window as a worker from the tree removal company navigated his way among the upper branches of a large oak, wielding a chainsaw, no less.

If he knew fear, he didn’t show it. It was like he was born for this task. Tarzan would’ve been envious.

As the branches fell one by one, I wondered to myself what we would do without the skilled workers who take on these jobs on a daily basis, relieving us from chores we lack the ability to accomplish.
I can’t imagine how I would even begin to fell a tree, but I’m sure the process would involve my lack of talent with a chainsaw and possibly a neighbor’s roof to break my fall, not to mention some missing limbs of my own.

It reminded me how much we need each other.

We come into this world with our own limited talents, some of which will grow into useful skills and some of which will fall by the wayside. We slowly learn which are which, and then we offer our skills to the world.

The ability to teach, a talent for writing, a propensity for woodwork, a knack for auto repair. Thank God, we aren’t all good at the same thing.

A couple of weeks ago, I was thankful for a man named Jonathan who diagnosed my air conditioner’s problem quickly and returned my home to a comfortable 70 degrees in no time.

Without Jonathan, I would be praying for a cool breeze or filling the house with box fans. My brain isn’t wired to understand the inner workings of air conditioners. Jonathan’s is. I’m grateful.

How would you like to walk into a McDonald’s, be handed an apron and spatula, and invited to prepare your own Big Mac? I, for one, can manage to burn water. I’m thankful for all the skilled chefs we can produce.

Someone at my church just built a beautiful and functional new booth for the sound and video equipment. I can sing a bass line pretty well in the choir, but if you hand me a hammer, I can hammer little with it but my thumb. God bless the carpenter.

Even the elected officials we love to chastise are among us for a reason. They are tasked with navigating political waters that would consume most of us in no time. Agree with them or not, life is better with than without them.

Or maybe we should put that to a vote.

I kid. I believe the great majority have indeed made our world a better place.

I told my daughter something a long time ago, but it bears sharing with you.

“I don’t care what profession you choose,” I said. “Whether you choose to split the atom or dig ditches, do it joyfully and to the absolute best of your ability.

“If you dig ditches, I want people to come from neighboring states to marvel at them,” I told her. “That’s the kind of work I want you to do.”
So be thankful for talents large and small, and the people who house them.

And be especially thankful for guys named Jonathan who know a thing or two about air conditioning.

Kent Bernhardt lives comfortably cool and safely on the ground in Salisbury.


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