This I Believe

Samuel - LaGrange Park, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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Throughout my life my parents have preached to me about having a good work ethic and always giving one hundred percent effort in everything that I do. When I was young, I did not buy into these concepts. I did not realize what the real world was going to be like when I got older. But, as I matured and became older, I really started to believe in those very things.

A good work ethic is viewed highly by all people. In America today, I look around and I hear kids in school saying, “It doesn’t matter, I don’t care about my grades anyway.” When I hear this, I pity the person who said it because they are not setting themselves up for success in the future. The reality of our society is that the same person who said that he did not care will be competing with someone who did care about his grades for the same job when they join the work force. If you were the employer, who would you select for the job? What kids think is that they are going to do fine in life without hard work, and that everything basically will be handed to them on a silver platter.

Another thing that parents have started to do recently is provide extra incentives for their kids to do well in school. For example, some parents pay their kids to get A’s. What’s with that? Why has the gratification of doing well in school dropped so much that kids need money to succeed.

A good work ethic also is necessary in sports. I have heard coaches say such things as, “What are you willing to pay to be better than the guy standing next to you,” and “Gentlemen, you have to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I interpret the second quote as saying that one must become comfortable with feeling pain, and paying the price for improvement. If you are not willing to sacrifice to get better at something, then there is no way that you will improve. Both of these mean a lot to me, and I always think about them when I have thoughts of slacking off on an assignment, or in a practice.

A good work ethic is a characteristic one must possess to survive in our society. Without it, one will lack the proper skills needed to do simple tasks that other people will develop. Therefore, those people who develop these skills will be the ones to succeed in life. Is that the kind of life style you want to lead when you grow up? I know that that’s no the case for me.