Public school teachers, snow plow removal workers, legislators, government administrative staff… All y’all got my respect, simply because they work for the public. Every single person who works for the government in any capacity is due some amount of respect just because they work for the public.
I learned the reality of public service as a public servant. After working for a few city governments in the 1990s, in 2000 I started working for Washington stare government at their education agency. After spending a few years there I went to work for myself. I worked for the state department of health from 2008 to 2010.
In the span of realities facing democratic society, there are a lot of opportunities for individuals to contribute to the health and well-being of democracy. We’re all forced to attend public schools by compulsory law, ostensibly for the well-being of society. We pay taxes for the good of society. Citizens vote, politicians run for office, and volunteers serve throughout our communities. Serving democracy is the highest calling any resident in our democratic society.
Government workers serve society by nature of their positions. They routinely receive less pay, and situationally face higher workloads than their private sector counterparts. Even if they don’t, government workers do something greater than any private workers: they represent democracy. They are accountable for the laws, policies, rules, and regulations voted in, appointed by, or otherwise creates by the government officials who serve to create them at the behest of the constituents they represent. This is democracy in action.
Teachers in public schools, and by default public schools themselves, represent democracy in action, too. They teach the residents who occupy democracy everyday. As they succeed in their jobs, our democracy succeeds. As they fail, democracy fails. The work teachers do is of the highest necessity of anyone in society. While some people fail at that job, that’s no reason to dismiss the entirety of the profession.
Appreciating public service is something in which each resident of democratic society shares a responsibility.