What makes a tough job and a tough person. When I hear that, I mostly think of coal miners and steel workers, male dominated industries that are dirty, dangerous, and punishing. It’s hard for me to think of tougher jobs than those. But they’re not alone in their difficulty and grime, the only difference is that they are, perhaps, even more forgotten and taken for granted.
Clean, Cleaner, Cleanest is a wonderful short story by Sherman Alexie about the life and career of a motel maid, who, to me, is the very definition of tough.
At the core, much of what we talk about is about what we find valuable. My last post was a poem that was important to me, not only because of its merit as a poem, it certainly is a great poem, but its value to understanding history, both personal and of the United States. Though perhaps not expressed explicitly, most are genuinely interested in what they find valuable and arguing for it or against what they find unvaluable.
So when it comes to a person, how do we determine their value? Is there only one correct way? Are we ever in a position to really make that judgement at all?