Effort: The Most Important Value

Effort: The Most Important Value

Without effort, there is nothing else.
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There are many qualities that I believe hat we, as people, should commonly strive to acquire. These qualities include honesty, integrity, kindness, tolerance, compassion, to name but a few. However, there is one value that I hold above all others and that value is effort. Why is effort so important? It's because without it, no other value would matter.

You see, we are each born and raised to have different traits. Some of us are athletic and others are academic. Some of us are introverted and some are extroverted. The simple fact of life is that it takes a combination of skills and attributes in order to survive and thrive. The wolf with the sharpest teeth would die of starvation if he was a slow runner. Thus, we find conflict. Some of us find it difficult to study for tests or to sit still in an office, while others can't bring themselves to lose a bad habit or exercise daily to better their health. Some of us couldn't care less about the hardships of others, while some of us worry so much about others' needs that we forget our own. It’s fine to have personal flaws – that’s what being human means – but if we do not put forth effort to better ourselves in such areas, we end up becoming one of those people. The introvert who makes no effort to make friends becomes the lonesome outcast. The extrovert who clings to friendship too tightly becomes the obsessive, needy child. The person who thinks little of others becomes the heartless jerk. The person who thinks only of others gets taken advantage of. It's a constant challenge to work on our weaknesses and it's one that we will never completely overcome, but that we must put forth effort into if we want to reach our potential.

That being said, we should also recognize the effort that others put into their lives, even if it’s in an area that seems trivial. We forget that, as individuals, we each excel and fail in different areas. As a result, we tend to judge people not based on the amount of effort that they put into something, but by the amount of effort that we would have to put into their struggles. "Why don't they do things the way I do things?" "How hard can it be to do this? I do this all the time!" "They're so cruel/weird/wrong. How could they be like that?" We like to assume that the people who aren’t as good as us at something are just lazy or thoughtless, rather than trying to help them. By "help," I don't mean to go and give them a lecture, I mean to lead by example, be there for them as friends, and put forth effort in your own life so that others can be inspired to put forth such effort into theirs.

Effort doesn't just apply to our weaknesses. Do you think any great person who we look back on in the history books was just born as incredible as they were? No, they poured their hearts and souls into what they did and they strove to be even better. They didn't settle with "I am good at this." They said, "I am good at this, but I will work to become great." Educators educated themselves, writers read, scientists studied, and warriors trained. These people worked to be more than what they were. This doesn't just apply to personal greatness. Mother Teresa, one of the most generous and charitable people to have ever lived, struggled with her religious beliefs for the majority of her life. Yet, she still worked to help others in need. Do you think that she was just so good at it that it was the easiest path for her to take? Likewise, did Martin Luther King Jr. protest the mistreatment of African Americans just because he was a good speaker? No, they both struggled both against internal and external forces so that they could make a difference and it was this kind of effort that allowed them to do so.

The thing about effort is that it applies to everything. Are you stuck in an unhappy relationship? You can choose the easy route of complacency and be miserable your whole life, you can put forth effort to fix what's broken, or, if that's just not possible, you can gather the courage to move on. Are you feeling lonely because no one seems to understand you? You have to work at making friends who will accept you for who you are, otherwise you'll be alone forever. Are you feeling as though your life has no meaning? You have to give it meaning. You have to discover yourself and then use that discovery to find your purpose. You have to work at putting that prejudice that you have to rest, to caring about the plights of others, to becoming the person who you want to be. You have to work at being kind, smart, strong, honest, loving, tolerant, honorable, and every other quality that a person should have. Without effort, you might end up being someone who you can live with. With effort, you will end up being someone who you can be proud of.

Cover Image Credit: stumbleuponlife.com

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5 Comments I Had After Changing My Phone's Language For A Day

Okay, I have definitely not paid enough attention in my Italian class.

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While waiting for the bus on a Saturday after a basketball game, my friend made a spur-of-the-moment decision to change her phone's language to Spanish. Me, being more of a follower than a leader, thought that this would also be a good idea so I changed my phone's language to Italian, which is what I am currently learning. So, after having my phone set to a different language for at least twenty-four hours, here are five comments that I had when going through the experience.

1. It will help you learn new vocab

Spotify Screenshot

Casey Clarke

Okay, at first, changing the language may make you feel like you know nothing about it, especially if you are still a beginner. When I first changed the language, I thought 'Wow, I really have not learned that much in my Italian class.' However, after changing it and exploring some of your apps, I got at least a general understanding of what my phone was saying. This helped me learn some new vocab and also reinforce words that I already knew. For example, after seeing it pop up in so many apps, I realized that the word "cerca" is Italian for "to search for." It also helped to reinforce the Italian words for "open," "friends," and "write."

2. You will find fun little quirks in the language and in some of the apps that you use

Facebook Screenshot

Casey Clarke

Did you know that you can make your Google Assistant sing to you in Italian? Or, that instead of the "angry" react on Facebook it is written as "grrr?" Changing the default language to Italian made going through the apps that I use everyday much more fun (and sometimes very funny). I am sure that this is also similar if it is changed to another language.

3. All of your Google apps will change, which is definitely confusing

Google Maps Screenshot

Casey Clarke

This was probably the most confusing part of changing my phone's language. Since I have a Samsung, my phone basically runs on Google apps, so having all of them change to Italian really made it difficult for me to comprehend what was on the screen. I'm sure that this would not be as major of a problem for someone who is more experienced in their language, but as a beginner, trying to understand what directions Google Maps was giving me was tough (and was also when I decided to change my phone's language back to English for a few minutes). Also, since I use Google Calendar and Italians start the calendar week on Monday instead of Sunday, it was slightly confusing to see that my calendar week now started on Monday.

4. The measurements will also change to the Italian equivalent, which is not fun

Google Assistant Screenshot

Casey Clarke

It was really strange to see that my phone said the temperature outside was zero degrees instead of 32 degrees. Or see that the measurement for distance changed from miles to kilometers or meters. Also, when I used my Starbucks app to tip, it used the symbol for euros instead of dollars. These switches led to some confusion, but luckily I survived without having to download a conversion app.

5. Overall, changing your phone to another language is pretty fun

Google Assistant Screenshot

Casey Clarke

Overall, these past twenty-four hours were certainly entertaining. Since I am still a beginner of Italian, changing my phone's language was both really challenging and really helpful. It helped me learn new verbs and was a fun experience. While I doubt I will leave my phone's settings on Italian, it has definitely made looking at my phone more interesting.

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