This I Believe
I once read a T shirt that said “Hard work never hurt anybody, but I’m still not going to risk it.” I disagree. Hard work is good for you, both physically and mentally. It yields a life worth more than material possessions; it yields a life where almost constant healthy stress allows you to enjoy the simplistic beauty of this world and reinforces appreciation for those around you and the possessions you have worked so hard to create or aquire. I understand this because I have experienced it first hand. I live in a construction zone, otherwise known as a house renovation, with tools everywhere, walls without sheetrock, and some places with no walls at all. It’s hard sometimes, but as the projects pull together through blood, sweat, and yes, some tears I see what my family and I have done, and I know in my heart that we can do it. That is what keeps me going.
One time we had to insulate the floor of our house… from underneath. Now that was a task. I think I was in about the third grade. I was terribly scared of spiders, and as you know there is no shortage of spiders under a house. There were spiders everywhere. Every few inches I smashed one. If you’ve ever touched insulation then you know that the tiny fiberglass particles stick to your body. This causes, without exception, relentless itching. The itching plays with your mind and makes you feel like spiders are working their way into your clothing. Nevertheless, I pushed through it, and though it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I know it made me better because I overcame my arachnophobia.
A few weeks ago we had to repair our roof. We stripped off all the old shingles, put on new plywood sheathing, and tar papered the roof to prepare it for the new roof. I learned a very valuable life lesson through this… don’t procrastinate, it isn’t worth it. Whenever a tough task lies ahead, push yourself to knock it out early (especially a roofing job). When we repaired our roof we started at sunrise. ( I needed a little incentive from my dad — I am not a morning person.) However, by the end of the day I was very glad we had started early because we actually finished the job, whereas if we hadn’t started when we did, we wouldn’t have finished before the rain that came the next day.
Some say hard work is their enemy, but I say that it’s my friend because it makes me better because important life lessons.
It is said that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but really it is the fence that was built and all the work that went into the fence that makes the grass so appealing. So next time you see a nail don’t shy away. Pick it up and build something.
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