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'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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