Hard Work

John - Gaithersburg, Maryland
Entered on October 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, work
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I believe in working hard. I believe in pouring my heart and soul into whatever I’m doing. I believe in being able to look back with satisfaction on every step of a process, not just the end result. Many experiences throughout my life have gradually shaped this belief, slowly twisting themselves together into this bold statement.

Few such memories are more vivid than one that occurred many years ago. When I started 3rd grade, I joined a scout program for young boys at my church. Like many such programs, we had an activity book to work through. With the completion of each section, we received a pin to wear on our uniform. Every meeting, the boys who completed the most sections were honored, and there was always plenty of competition to see who could do the most. But that kind of pressure only went so far in my 9 year old mind. Inevitably, I would be sitting inside working on my activity book when the gang of little neighborhood boys would come pounding at the door. I would be outside in a flash, forgetful of the half completed book on the kitchen table. As the 4 year scout program concluded, I sat down with my Dad and we talked about diligence. To this day, I can still recall what he said: “Starting is easy, but sticking is hard.” Since that afternoon, I have been gradually learning from my dad’s words and more importantly from the example that he sets. I remember one night several years ago he did something I will never forget.

I was on my way to bed at about 11:00 when I noticed he was still up. There was some network problem at work that day and he was still fixing it. Back then, I was still young enough to get up every morning at 5:00. I woke up hours before the sun, stoically stepped into a freezing shower, and then dove into my school for the day. On this particular occasion, as I got breakfast, I noticed the house wasn’t as silent as usual. I heard the soft clicking of someone typing and the office light was on. I peaked in to see my dad already back at work on the problem. “Wow Dad. You are up early” I remarked. “Oh no, I haven’t been to bed yet,” he responded.

Throughout my life I have seen my dad work with his whole heart on whatever he is doing. He has worked for the same company for over twenty years, and every year he gets more and more responsibility. Through his faithfulness, I have seen the fruit of hard work. Now, as I look back on the jobs I’ve had and begin to see the same pattern, I am so thankful that my dad chose to teach me to work hard while I was still young. Someday, when I am raising my children, I know I’ll still remember his words, “Starting is easy, but sticking is hard.”