This year, on Monday, January 18th, we pause to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr, to honor his courageous and heroic efforts to act boldly to ensure the equality of opportunity for all persons in American society without regard to their race, color, or creed. King’s inspirational speeches and bold actions have created an indelible blueprint for those continuing to strive for equality worldwide.
Another of Martin Luther King Jr’s timeless messages was that all work has value and dignity in society and that all workers are deserving of respect. To quote Dr. King, “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
In the street sweeping industry, we have a special bond with this message, because Martin Luther King Jr mentioned street sweeping specifically in a now famous speech delivered in Chicago, Illinois on April 9th, 1967.
“Even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all of the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
We are humbly honored that Martin Luther King Jr chose our industry specifically to make this point eloquently, but we understand that street sweepers are but one facet of the impossibly large number of individuals whose labor is an important, integral and indispensable part of our everyday lives. These folks are often nameless and faceless to us, but the value of what they collectively contribute to keeping our society moving day to day is immeasurable. We’d like to thank all of those individuals who labor in relative obscurity, but are absolutely essential to the success of us all.
And most of all, thank you, Dr. King.