‘If a man is called to be a streetsweeper,’ Dr. King preached, ‘he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.’ ‘

For our part, we should treat that streetsweeper with respect for a job well done, and with genuine gratitude for doing a job we’d pay big bucks – but don’t – not to have to do ourselves.

Lest you think I’m lecturing you, I should say I’ve written this largely as a reminder to myself. ‘How are you today?’ I too often forget to ask as I get into a cab. ‘Thanks – good ride!’ I too often forget to say as I leave.*

* If any of this sounds familiar, you are a faithful reader indeed. I first ran this comment two thousand seven hundred fifty-two columns ago. But it’s a quote I particularly love, from a man who all ‘the hosts of heaven and earth’ surely agree did his job well.

Tomorrow, which you can read today: Cucumbers


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