The Importance of Work Ethic

The Importance of Work Ethic

How Earning What You Have Builds Character
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Everything today is a click away. We shop online. We can look up how to do things on YouTube. And if we need maintenance on our roofs, bathrooms, electricity, or cars, we can go online and find the phone number of the nearest appropriate service company. If we want something built, such as a backyard pool or a porch, we call a business who will send people to do it for us.

Everything is simple. None of us really have to work hard to get these kinds of accommodations anymore. However, working hard to earn what you want and what you need can bring you to become more humble, appreciate the things you have and help you become more confident in basic life skills without feeling dependent on the internet or other people.

When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me the value of hard work. It took me forever to understand it. I never knew why they made me take the longer and harder route of getting things done when I could have easily gotten somebody else to do it. If I asked my dad what a word meant, he wouldn’t tell me. He wouldn’t even let me use Google. He would hand me a dictionary and make me find it.

I never got paid for the chores I was told to do, either. I did chores to “earn my keep” according to my parents. I only got paid for extra chores I did that weren’t on my To-Do list. I got some money for working hard in school, depending on how good my grades were. If I got bad grades, that money was deducted from the money I got for good grades. Except for birthdays and Christmas, my parents told me I had to buy my own toys.

When I bought my first car, my dad didn’t take it to a workshop right away. Instead, he ordered the parts we needed for a less expensive price, did the labor himself (with some of my help), and saved around a thousand dollars just because he was willing to put in the work himself. This also gave me an opportunity to learn how to maintain my own car, as I watched him spend hours replacing parts.

We lived overseas in Nepal during some of my middle school years, and in Nepal, having people clean your house for you was a very normal thing. In fact, by hiring local cleaning maids, you were giving them a job opportunity that almost nobody in the country had. However, even though they would clean the house, my parents would tell me that the maid would not be allowed to clean my room. They weren’t to touch it. Instead, I would clean my room, and I would be expected to do normal chores, as well. If my work wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t be allowed to play until it was to my parents’ satisfaction.

As I did this throughout my years of living at home, I was able to learn how to properly finish a task at hand, and I knew how to do it well, as I had set a standard as to how my tasks should be completed at a young age. As I started working on my own career, I have almost never had manager or employer send me to back to do a better job they had required me to do.

My college transition was a lot easier because of my work ethic as well. I knew how to pick up after myself, which made living with my roommates easier, especially living in a military barracks where uncleanliness is punishable. I knew how to save up my money and sacrifice things I really wanted in order to pay for textbooks and living expenses, and I knew how to do a lot of things without the help of the internet all because my parents had simply taken the time to encourage me to do it myself before looking for help.

All of these things that made me work for my money never made sense to me when I was a kid. However, as I grew up and made my way into the world that existed outside of my own home, I finally realized the value of hard work. The kids I knew that were simply given what they asked for, usually expected more, and were less likely to take good care of it. As I worked hard for the things I wanted, I appreciated them greatly. I was more careful about who I lent my things to, where I left them, and how I maintained them. When I was given something that I didn’t pay for myself (especially when it was something I needed), I was much more thankful for the gift; knowing how much work it saved me, since I didn’t have to save up for the item myself. Working to pay for the things I needed and wanted made me more aware of how I spent my money. My priorities changed and I knew what things had to come first and what things I didn’t actually need.

Working hard to earn the things you need and want is a priceless and irreplaceable experience. Not only do you gain a greater appreciation for the things you have and the things people do for you, but you also learn a great deal about yourself and what your capabilities are. Being confident in your skill without relying on the internet or people with more experience, can bring you miles ahead of your peers, and give you a head start as you begin living on your own.

Cover Image Credit: Futurism

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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