Today is National Nurses Day and Teacher Appreciation Day, which means it’s time to celebrate what these fine folks do for our communities every day by thanking them for their hard work and dedication to the things that really matter – health care and our kids.Think about that for a second: health care and kids. When you frame their responsibility in such a way it’s easy to see that these women and men literally hold the future of the country in their hands. That’s a big deal and we should be grateful.So, to name a few things for which we’re thankful:1. Your personal commitment in industries that are hard to like. Both U.S. health care and education suffer an image problem that too often overshadows the all-stars who don’t deserve our uninformed criticisms.Profiteering health insurance companies and poor education reform choices make it hard for us to view these industries in a positive way, but we need to be able to stand back and recognize that nurses and teachers are on our side – they’re fighting to make a difference and we should be thankful for that.2. Your unwavering support, even when we’re too immature or weak to appreciate it.Let’s face it: Kids and the infirm are needy, needy people. They whine, they’re messy and they require a level of care and feeding that would sap a normal human’s strength in a matter of minutes. Yet, teachers and nurses show up every day and do their best to teach and to restore life.As students and patients, we owe it to them to behave and act respectful.3. Your ability to make us feel better without shaming us.How many times has a nurse called you a coward for getting woozy when the needle comes out? And, how many times has a teacher called you dumb for not knowing an answer?The answer is probably zero times for both, even though it’s just a little sting and the question was probably really easy! Teachers and nurses say, “You can do it!” more than anything else, even when they’ve had a long day. That kind of generosity deserves gratitude.4. Your patience, even when you’re exhausted.As students, we believe we’re right even when we’re dead wrong and think the teacher’s an idiot. As patients, we believe we’re the only ones in pain in the entire hospital and that our nurse is just being lazy, or even negligent!The truth, though, is that 98% of the time those assumptions are complete rubbish. That “lazy” nurse has 20 patients – many of whom are likely in far worse shape than us – and that “idiot” of a teacher is teaching us patience by example. Respect!5. Your willingness to choose people over profit.You don’t have to read the news to know teachers and nurses get paid peanuts in relation to what they’re expected to do. And yet, they still do it!It’s called integrity, and it’s a quality we take for granted in the people we trust to hold the real keys to the kingdom – but today we want to say thanks. So, thank you to all of our teachers and nurses for what you do every day.