Much of the focus throughout this pandemic has been on the essential workers, and rightfully so. They are on the front lines, going to work every single day to provide the types of jobs necessary to keep all of us alive and healthy. Of course there are those in the healthcare industry who we are so incredibly appreciative for. Caring for patients with this awful disease, providing hands on work despite the very real possibility that it could mean infecting yourself, is the ultimate sacrifice in this pandemic.

Beyond our healthcare professionals, there are the first responders, the food and agriculture workers from grocery store employees to farmers. There’s also people in transportation, the public works sector, government employees and those who work in communications, all doing what they can to keep the world spinning. 

But while those industries are clearly important, for those who have been told they are “non essential” and thus forced to shutdown or work from home, they might be starting to feel less than important, and we wanted to take a minute to tell you why YOU are also essential.

To those in the food service and accommodation industries:

Fast food, dine in restaurants, caterers, coffee shops, street vendors, bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, campgrounds, casinos, tourism companies — the blood, sweat and tears you’ve poured into your business is appreciated by all. You accommodate people of all backgrounds, stages, income levels, and are always ready to serve. For that we are thankful.

You are essential!

To those in manufacturing, or construction, mining, maintenance, and any other blue collar job — your work ethic is the foundation of our economy. You are the engine that drives our country and your efforts are so much appreciated. 

You are essential!

To those in the education industries — the school teachers, colleges, tutors, drivers ed teachers, the dance studios — You all are essential for raising up an entire generation of forward thinkers and progress.

You are essential!

To the stay-at-home moms or dads. After several weeks at home, we (especially now) all know, without a doubt, you are the heartbeat of America, raising up children to be wise, kind and contributing members of society.

You are essential!

To those currently unemployed: 

You have talent, you have importance, and you have something to contribute to society. It is not a matter of if you have something, it is a matter of where you can best use your gifts. 

You are essential!

To our friends who work in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries:

For those who own or work in theaters, golf courses, clubs, the race track, sports venues, the bowling alleys — your venues provide us endless joy and fun as we do what we as humans were called to do, be in community with one another.

You are essential! 

To those in the airline, cruise, or vacation travel industry:

You provide a service that most everyone longs for at the end of this. 

You are essential!

To those in the service industry: 

The spas, the massage therapists, the photographers, hair salons — Take one good look at your Facebook feed right now. You’ll probably notice the uptick in buzz cuts, and just really bad haircuts. That’s because no one knows how to do what you do. 

You are essential and we need your services!

We hope you feel encouraged today. The American economy is a massive, complex system full of talent, creativity, and God-given gifts. Whatever your role is in that machine, know that we may be able to survive a little while without it, but not long.

You see, among the many things we can observe from the past several weeks, it is that we are all part of something much larger than ourselves. We are all contributing to a society that is better than the generation before.

Our contributions, no matter how big or small, are all part of making the dream that has become known as the American Dream which nations around the world covet. The idea that we all have the ability to pursue the things that make us happy, and provide security and joy for those around us, is ultimately what keeps our society heading the right direction. That’s why we can say with confidence:

You are essential!