The distinguished office of Master of York is only a few months away, but I can never forget my humble beginnings. Last week on a browse through Barnes and Noble I was reminded of them in a rather perturbing way from Debra Ginsberg's 2001 edition of WAITING. Herein on page 54 she states in part:
"Dishwashers are on the very bottom rung of the ladder, clinging tenuously for their lives...far removed from other forms of life...unclean, the untouchables, slaves of their own misfortune...as anonymous as possible. The irony, of course, is the fact that a restaurant simply cannot function without efficient dishwashers."
I assume that Mrs. Ginsberg is simply tounge-in-cheek citing prevailing world sentiment as opposed to her own. Be that as it may, I have grave issues with this line of thinking, be it individual or institutional. I openly challenging it.
Dishwashers who have made good include (but are not limited to) such late and living notables as former President Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Dr. Billy Graham, Sidney Poitier, Bruce Lee, Burt Reynolds, Warren Beatty, George Orwell, Eddie Murphy, Jack London, Woody Guthrie, and Richard "Cheech" Marin.
Estimates from sources like Barrons, the National Hospital Directory On-line, and the latest available U.S. Census figures give me about one and one quarter million practicing dishwashers in all concerned business and institutions nationwide. Moreover, I believe this figure may be a conservative one.
There is as much dignity, merit, and leadership in doing a dirty dish in Spokane as in doing a dirty trade in New York. And an honest day's dishwork here is worth any ten day's idleness on Capitol Hill.
Another national election is looming, and I think it is time we re-assessed the personal and political value of one and one quarter million....VOTERS! Now, is that power and leadership to reckon with, or what?