The 10 Most Underrated Responsibilities

underrated responsibilities

Rank does not confer privilege or
give power, it imposes responsibility.
– Peter Drucker


Bridgette Cooper-Anderson
with Orpheus With His Lute


The 10 Most Underrated Responsibilities
by Kendall F. Person

They may not appear on Time Magazine’s’ Most Influential List, but they have sent representatives, at sometime or another. As a group, there is no single voice that sings louder, it’s the collective song that is heard. In their roles, they are honored, but they also take the brunt of the storm. In the mirror, it is their hopes and dreams they see, but in their eyes, it is the hopes and dreams of  many. A burden each carries, that stretches beyond their reach, tis true. And while some may fall or break or crack or spin out of control, we know, collectively they possess the will and the fortitude to carry on, even when noone is watching.


There is hardly an entity, that does not maintain  a wealth of volunteers. Hospitals, universities, government, each relies on an unpaid staff to deliver the little things, the nuances, that make each operate a bit more efficiently, with glee. In the nonprofit world, often times, volunteers are the engine, that moves and shakes the ground. When the housing bubble burst and the economy collapsed, many government services were upended and in some cases, wiped out.

But volunteer organizations like The Sacramento Friends of the Public Library helped to fill the gaps – through advocacy, fundraising and by providing critical support to the city wide library system – assisting in keeping our knowledge and historical centers going strong. Volunteers are often at the forefront of social movements, and among the first responders during natural disasters. And volunteers often contribute, not for any recognition, but because they are passionate about supporting something, that means something to them.


In October of 1995, I had the great fortune to attend the Million Man March. I do not remember many of the speakers from that day, although, Maya Angelou’s appearance on the steps of my nation’s capitol was certainly memorable, but I do remember the atmosphere quite vividly, the festive spirit, the love of one another that resonated and glided through the air.

To be in Washington DC on that warm autumn day, with a million other men and women from all over the country and I believe, some parts of the world, standing shoulder to shoulder for hours, in a solidarity of peace, love and respect of each other and ourselves is what truly defined that day. Controversy found a way to rear its deceptive head, by way of the number of people who stood on Capitol Mall that day. A co-worker asked, with nothing but sincerity, “The event was a success, why does it matter how many people were there?” My response was simply, “Because history matters.”


Have you ever cast your ballot for a candidate, that you have never heard speak and have no idea  if he or she represents the best interests for you and your family and your community? Have you ever stood firmly on an issue, even when you do not have a horse in the race? Have you ever said “I don’t believe that,” even before you have heard the other person speak? Each of us, ultimately, must live and die for ourselves, but in the meantime, we share the earth.

The undecideds may or may not belong to a political party or a specific religion, they may hold a PhD or a GED, be male or female and consists of every color and nationality, making  the demographic difficult to measure. But what they are is understanding , curious, patient, and hopeful, that if their mind is open, receptive to knowledge, when they cast their ballot, or stake their claim or choose their hill, it is done so with care and with the intent of forward progress and what is best for their community.


There is beauty in the arts, that much we all know. But there exist something more indescribable, perhaps magical is the word I search for. The Arts, in their purest form are transcending, immune to polarization, blinded to hate. Born of imagination, a thought, a sound, a vision from the creative right side of the brain,

The Arts are conceptualized with the whole world in mind, even if in reality most have limited reach. Many have seen Avatar, thousands consider the Philadelphia Museum of Art  a national treasure, and nearly all have heard of Shakespeare.  I am certain – using the Olympiad as a guide – most nations rise when playing their national anthem, and in the United States, when the familiar music plays, and as everyone in earshot hums along in anticipation of  the big finish O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave, in those precious few moments, we are all mentally in the same place.


There is a complexity to farming on a large scale, that flows well beyond the planting of a seed.  There are regulations that must be followed, distribution channels to choreograph, and changes of taste of the people they feed. But even when everything goes right, mother nature can send a deep freeze to Florida, destroying all of the crops, devastating their livelihoods. But farming runs in the blood and beyond the business are people who take pride in knowing,  they are producing a product, that serves a vital purpose.



Sure, there are opportunist and those who ignore their oath. Yes, there are leaders who have fallen short, and power has overtaken those we entrust to protect and serve, some by design others overwhelmed, unprepared for their chosen path. And if the crack or the seismic fault is coming from the top, there can be a rolling effect on all that follow or are under their command. But most are good people, who truly want to be a trusted, respected and an honorable member of their community within their chosen profession.


Pastor Dave is how the congregation referred to the leader of the church I attended several years ago. For whatever reason, it was  a challenge for me to go, even though the Sundays I did attend, provided strength, nourishment and the sincere awareness, that we were not in our struggle alone; and that the church was a place to not only worship, but to feel at peace, energized, and if we could find it nowhere else, Pastor Dave created an environment, of  togetherness of community, of building a stronger relationship with Our Lord. He stood firm in his beliefs and of the Book he followed, but he made sure his congregation knew, all were welcome, and that he was  just  a man, doing his best to lead by example.


In my four years of high school, I cannot remember a single teacher leaving. In contrast,  in every job I have ever had, no more than a year would pass without someone moving on to another, similar company or changing careers altogether.  Every teacher that I have known and, for whatever reason, reached back or inquired about them, while they may have completed their career on another campus, teaching was still their chosen profession. Their commitment, in many cases, went beyond the requirements set forth by the Department of Education. At some point, and this is my guess, each has an epiphany, that  teaching is more than a profession. It is an identity or a calling, and many who answer it, come to comprehend, that the young people in their reach is our future, and the awareness must sink in, their contribution to the circle of life, is much greater than ever imagined.

the village

I was 30 when my Grandmother passed away, so even though it has been nearly twenty years, I remember her very well. She was a wonderful woman with a quiet demeanor, but held a large family together {my Grandfather died before I was born}, simply by her presence. Her legacy passed down into her children, and they in turned passed down the family bond to each of us.

I attended my 30 year high school class reunion, and it was so good to see them. Many of my classmates, were of the first readers to purchase my first novel, Capturing Spring, way back in 1997.  I have summered with my stepfather’s family in Tennessee and have direct lines with friends of which, I attended the same university. Today, I am grateful that many of the neighbors in The Neighborhood, are a part of The Village too.  In our worlds that matter most, is where we find the inspiration and the motivation, that all alone, may have alluded us for good.


Following our passion sounds bigger than it is. Our sincere passions – our positive contributions – are not bound by record books or compared to anyone else. It is what we have to give. It is what makes us happy or whole or comfortable in saying, this is my legacy. This is my contribution to humanity. Being a loving, supportive parent. Finding the cure for lupus. Making sure the children in our community have  school supplies. Building a clinic. Volunteering to visit the elderly. Bringing a championship ring to our city, or running for public office.

The meaning of life is an accumulative endeavor, where each piece builds, supports and enriches the earth. In discovering our passion, it is not long before we find life’s meaning. In fact, we may have already found it, but our eyes are still closed.

– this is…. The Neighborhood
& The Neighborhood FB

reasons why

74 Comments on “The 10 Most Underrated Responsibilities

  1. Pingback: The 10 Most Underrated Responsibilities — The Neighborhood | Team OCC

  2. Pingback: An endorsement | Daniella's Ramblings

  3. Wow.. Kendall, this is a very well written piece and I love how you break down on each different jobs and give them their due recognition. These people are so important in our lives and yet they are the most under appreciated by society. It’s time we change all that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Kally – I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking for if something happened, but I thought it was pretty good list. Glad you agree. And I agree with you. Hope the day treats you well, my friend. – KP

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel very moved by the spirit in this post. It counters a trend to devalue people’s contributions over economic considerations. Inspiring : )

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great Post! 3 of the 10 resonated with me. Our society has gravitated to always wanting to be the Leader, The Artist or The “whatever”… So many people desperately want to be “somebody” that it’s so hard to find those willing to help somebody. The lead role is nothing with out the supporting cast. The volunteers are so important and like you said “There is hardly an entity, that does not maintain a wealth of volunteers.” Lastly “Our sincere passions – our positive contributions – are not bound by record books or compared to anyone else.” Becoming passionate about the good you are already doing. Being a husband/wife, a Mother/Father, a good son or daughter or even a good Christian. Particularly as you said comparing yourself to no one but to the best of your ability.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I found your post very interesting. I had just finished listening to a podcast in which an economist suggests that the undecideds are sometimes the worst ones to vote. They make decisions based on gut instinct or a quickly read summary rather than researching and forming strong perspectives. This was a good counterpoint to his arguments.


    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love your count down. Such an inclusive list of those often forgotten despite the efforts they put out there to make the world a better place.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A great food for thought.. a very message we tend to forget..
    Thanks for following me, btw.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Creatives Are the Spice of Life | Uncovered

  10. Being a teacher, performing artist and a historian and a wannabe spiritual counsellor, I agree. Thanks for finding me, now I found you. See you often.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Your blog is a little oasis on WordPress, Kendall. It’s so refreshing to come here, listen to some sweet music, and read your thoughtful ideas. This list of responsibilities is innovative, yet non-threatening for busy people, who can all find within it some small way to contribute to their community.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I agree! I love following your blog. Always thought-provoking. I recently wrote about great leaders who have directly impacted my life – not the ones we read on headlines – the ones in my community. I mentioned my primary grade teacher, Mrs Canada. I also mentioned Dr Fiona Wood, who discovered “spray-on skin’ to accelerate healing for burns victims. Here’s the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Excellent post. I to was 30 (turn 31 later this year) when my grandmother passed. She kept the family together. Since she has transitioned I can see some changes but for the most part the family is still staying together.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I absolutely loved this!!! Teachers…soooo under-appreciated and taken for granted. These people should be making bankers’ salaries! Thanks for the article. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You had me at ‘passion’! It was a fine read, but that last one was truly the icing on the cake. My own site is not just a way for me to speak out about my current predicament, it’s also a personal portfolio that I have been pouring my heart into. My writing is my everything.

    Thank you very much for this list. It really brightened up my evening. I have an interview to look forward to in the morning now – before, I was my nervous.

    I invite everyone to come check out my blog, particularly my article, ‘Gay, Interrupted.’ Thanks, publicblogger. You rock.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the welcome, kind sir! Do check it out; I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

        I am looking forward to the interview tomorrow and will drop in and keep you updated of my progress!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on Good Lifestyler and commented:
    Brilliant post, I always think it’s disheartening when you look at all the people who put their heart and soul into what they do, all for little-to-no recognition.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The upside is that many who enter the unheralded professions, do not necessarily seek rock star recognition. But no doubt, or at least I hope, they find the motivation they need and the recognition they deserve in other ways. Thank you for adding your voice and for sharing this post within your community. You are appreciated and welcome to The Neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for the post Kendall, a timely reminder in our sometimes self consumed lives that there are so many working selflessly to help others. Your post inspires introspection.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Pingback: The Ten Most Underrated Responsibilities | Ian's Journal

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