Who Are Your Minions?

We took the kids to see the movie Despicable Me  last weekend. The trailer looked funny, and the film had already reached blockbuster status (as of this writing, it has grossed $209,287,345.00 — $32.00 of which was our humble contribution). It was a fun movie, but our teens are getting to an age where it’s not enough to simply populate the screen with lively animation, a few well-placed sight gags and some word play. Our son actually commented that he would have liked to have seen the main characters developed more. 

Despicable Me MinionOne thing we did all agree on is that we loved the Minions — cute little yellow Tylenol-gel-cap-shaped guys wearing overalls and safety glasses (Norm Abram would be proud). Think Oompa Loompas for the 21st century. Minions by definition are servile creatures beholden to those in power — and frequently underappreciated in my opinion. These tiny folks performed the heavy lifting, ran the thankless errands and did the dirty work for their übervillain employer, Gru — all the while standing by him, ever encouraging and supportive. Without the Minions, Gru would not have been able to achieve his goals (however misguided his objectives might or might not have been).

Which made me wonder. How many Minions do we overlook and fail to appreciate every day? We all have them in our lives. They are the people who help us get through the day and free us up to do what we need to do. We may not even realize what they do, but we’d be lost without them. It’s the door man who greets us with a smile when our arms are loaded with packages. The Starbucks barista who has the mocha light frappuccino ready to go in double-time when we are in a hurry. The janitor who handles the “clean up in aisle 7” so we don’t slip and fall on the broken bottle of Ragu. The kid who plucks the seaweed off the beach so the sand is clean and beautiful (that would be my son doing his summer job). They are the silent cheerleaders in our lives who stand behind us and have our backs.  [I hear the orchestra music beginning to swell in the background.]

Our Minions might be family members. The daughter who bakes when I have a cookie jones but I’m too busy to make them myself. The husband who trims away the vines from across the front steps so I don’t snag my foot and kill myself bringing in the newspaper. Even the cat who stalks and slays the rare mouse that sneaks into our abode, keeping us vermin free (if only she wouldn’t abandon her vanquished prey under the bed…).

And sometimes, we are the Minions (one could, after all, argue that I am small and yellow). We do little things to help out our co-workers, family, friends and neighbors just because it’s the right thing to do, and we support those who are near and dear to us. Or at least we should. And not because we are looking for gratitude or compensation.

Perhaps Minion is too derogatory a term for these selfless helpers. They should be recognized, acknowledged, valued, cherished.  Do you know the definition of minioning?  It means “kind treatment.”  Maybe Minion is the right word after all.

Who are your Minions?


  1. Trace says:

    Thank you for all of your Minion activities throughout our do-minion. I couldn’t do it without you.

  2. Barbara says:

    You really are a minion in the best sense of the word! <>

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