Well, not so much a hardhat anymore. My surroundings are different now. It's been summer of '12 since I've set foot on a bridge project. Projects such as my latest, interstates and state routes, only require reflectivity about the head. Hardhat wont stop a drunk careening towards you at 70 mph.
So with the title I am out of the closet. In the past years I have found myself using some version of the word human in conversations. For example, in discussions with a friend i found my exclaiming "I'm not racist, Im not sexist, I love all people and humans!! I'm not methodist or baptist or any -ist, but if i had to put a label I'd say Human-ist."
What a revelation!!
Well not right that moment, as i was just pleased at myself coining a word in my mind. But in future days I did look up the word and found my suspicions were correct: that there were others like me........Other people, too, wear hardhats.
Wait, no. We were talking about the other H.
No, not Hell, where some of you think I'm going, but the most important H word: Humans.
I use the word when stating my belief that mans law should not prevent humans from migrating to areas that provide more opportunity for survival, for whatever reason and especially the most extreme. That belief governs my political stance on immigration, which i dont discuss often, because I am in the deep south for goodness sake. I would not shout "Send them all back..." as the farmers would have my hide. Niether do i dare speak too loudly of their plight and exploitation because, again with the south thing.
I found myself in a sticky wicket one day on a project. The contractor needed to do something quickly and outside the scope of the contract that involved interfering with traffic. I could not tell him yes or no I did not have the authority, I knew he was moving ahead so I told him in terms of traffic control "Man, just be human and help people get where they're going without violating the contract."
It made sense at the time. I figured I could defend that in a court of law.
With this new found defintion, I felt as if I'd come home. And just in time to answer or point to answers for some hard questions from my offspring.
I am happier, better informed and more relaxed with my lifelong beliefs. I better understand my mother's subtle and father's not so subtle influence and how this wonderful ride of life is yours and yours alone. We must make the best of it here and now, because of here and now.