This I Believe

Kirsten - Hickory, North Carolina
Entered on May 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity, work

Do “It” with Passion

Throughout my life I have overlooked and even looked down on people who had less than ideal jobs, not thinking about the family they are supporting or the sacrifices they are forced to make. There are three profound concepts I believe will make society understand the importance of the honest worker.

1.) Respect is a vital part of the success of any worker. I think of the janitors who basically reside at my school, assuring us a clean environment everyday even though they sometimes go unnoticed. One day at lunch, the dilemma of the forgotten janitors came to my attention. As they walked around the cafeteria, a girl at my table addressed her fear that many people have of ever taking such a lowly job. We recalled being in elementary school and already thinking of them as having a low social status. What child has the ambition of growing up to be a janitor? Even though every janitor, trash truck driver, or bus boy faces disrespect at some time, they continue to their job and do it well. If we don’t start respecting the work of these “servants”, they are going to stop respecting our needs.

2.) Apathy is something the many high school students live by. Our constant “I don’t care” attitude will come back and haunt us one day. We rarely appreciate the sacrifice our teachers make just to help us. One time I remember walking into her room and immediately sensing her frustration. She told me that she woke up at 4:30 to get to school on time so some students could take a test. She arrived. They didn’t. As student we tend to only see our own high school dilemmas and for that, one day a teacher isn’t going to show up for us .

3.) Excuses, Excuses.. We make one to escape almost every situation.

I have learned that the people who choose not to, get the farthest in life. My grandmother and her husband had the dream of opening a shopping center. After divorcing my mom and not having a good job here my dad left us to offer his help. His step dad passed away not long after he moved there, leaving my dad and grandmother his debt. They were digging themselves into a big mess. Not making any excuses they kept on. The struggle killed my grandmother a few years later. My dad who didn’t even want this responsibility in the first place was left with debt, the death of two close family members, and years of time away from his now teenage kids. To lighten the moment at her funeral, he announced that she would “beat the hell out of him” if he didn’t open the store the next morning. But he did. He made no excuses and he now gets to live out their dream.

Anyone who is an honest worker in this society deserves respect and praise for whatever job it is they carryout everyday.