It started out as something that I hated. Getting up early in the morning, before the sun got to hot and while the dirt still contained moisture, to go out and weed the family garden. It seemed as though the rows were endless. The stick method, where you throw a stick a few feet ahead of you and weed till you get to the stick, made you feel that you were making progress and was one of the first lessons taught to the youngest and most easily bored weeders. The drudgery was shared by my two older siblings and we all grumbled and whined as though this was somewhat akin to slavery. The monotony was always killed by my older sister singing ninety-nine bottles of “pop’ on the wall that was always good for 20 minutes of taking our minds off the work. Funny how now, those moments that I so hated have now become some of my favorite memories of childhood. Parents are wise like that it seems.
I believe that hard work is what makes America strong and keeps us free.
From weeding the family garden, to working for local farmers moving pipe, in my childhood I learned from tough experience the importance of hard work. Mom always quoted Grandpa as saying “a job worth doing is worth doing well”. I have learned that hard work isn’t just to get money. There is nothing in the world that can compare to the satisfaction that you get after a long hard day working in the sun. Your body is tired, your face is sunburned and dirty, and your hands have more blisters than skin on them, but there is a feeling of accomplishment and self worth that can’t be gained anywhere else. The lessons taught create and mold character.
Growing up in a small farming community, I watched men live from their labors. It was the law of the harvest, what you put into the farm, you got out of it. I watched these same men go through droughts, and crop failures and hail storms that destroyed all their hard work in minutes. They were crushed time and time again, yet remained always resilient and steady. After the storm, they always just put on their boots and went to work.
What makes America strong are men and women just like these all over America. The blue collar workers, men and women who get up early in the morning to go to work in factories, small businesses, farms, you name it. We believe that anything good in life is worth working for. We have the liberty to chase our dreams and through our own efforts and hard work we can do it.
America is a land of the people, by the people, and for the people. And I believe that if we maintain our hard work ethics and our integrity, we will always remain as one of the greatest nations ever to exist in the history of the world.
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