Look up. If you see a ceiling above you, a carpenter constructed that. If you see a light fixture, an electrician wired that. Whatever is above, below, in front of, or in your 360 purview right now, odds are a “Ditch Digger” built, wired, or welded it. “Ditch Diggers” are the world’s builders. They literally create the skyline of buildings you look at each day. Why is this important? Well, let me tell you.

Last August, I was up late scrolling on my LinkedIn account and I saw a local plumbing company post a video of guy by the name of Eric Borden reciting a poem. His voice, alongside the way he articulated what the men and women in skilled trades do for all of us, immediately hooked me. I mean, I actually had goose bumps!

Before I get too far into this blog, I want you to see what I’m talking about. Here is Eric and his poem:

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After watching the video myself numerous times and forwarding it on to clients and friends, I felt compelled to find Eric’s number, call him, and tell him thank you for sharing the poem. Since that first call, we’ve become great friends. His ethics, values, principles, and the way he values people from all walks of life amaze me, and I just wanted to do more.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Eric and chat with him about his poem and what he hopes will come of it. Take a look:

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So, now after all of that, what am I hoping you’ll get out of this blog? Well, I want to help create “a #ThankADitchDigger social movement.” Meaning, I want everyone to begin thinking differently about people in the trades. For example: If you’re driving through a construction zone, slow down for just a second. I know it seems like an inconvenience. But, remember, the men and women working are truly trying to make your city more beautiful. A simple “hi” or wave to the workers also goes a long way. And, if you’re really bold, you could offer to buy them lunch or take them a coffee. But, my biggest ask is for everyone to become advocates to get more young people to go into the trades. We need more men and women like Eric, so let’s work to thank them and show them how much we really do appreciate them.

Do you think you can do it? It’s simple.

Case in point, last fall I shook the men’s hands repaving my street to make sure they knew I appreciated them sharing their skills to improve my community — the place my daughters will learn to ride their first bike. It made their day and, in return, made mine, too!

Another example — buying the crew re-roofing my house milk and cookies to take home to their families as a small token of my appreciation for literally putting a [better] roof over my head and for their families to know I’m grateful for the risky work they do to provide for their family.

The look on a “Ditch Digger’s” face when you take a moment to share your gratitude is priceless. Unfortunately, they aren’t ever expecting it. I hope we can all collectively change this and spread kindness to those building our communities into a better place.

Let’s all try and #ThankADitchDigger today!