Monday, December 18, 2006

Work Ethic

I grew up in a home in which my Dad had usually left for work before I awoke. Until I was old enough to help him (he was self-employed...but I digress), I didn't see him until just about supper time when I would hear his truck pulling into the garage. Sunshine or snow, well and ill, he never missed a day of work.

I must have learned a lesson by example because I, too, have worked my entire adult life (until retirement...another digression). I have worked picking up trash in parks, checking feet at a swimming pool, being a medic for the late shift at a factory, running ice cream carts in the summer...and so on. I worked part time all through college. On weekends, I made some bread with my quartet playing for weddings and sweet sixteen parties. I was able to pay for medical school by being a house fellow. After graduation came the military, then residency, then practice and a life of day, night, weekend and holiday work.

Each of my daughters, when they approached their teens, went out and got part time jobs. We never told them to do so or even suggested it. They did it on their own and were justifiably proud when they got a pay check. Anyway, I thought of this this morning when I went to take my youngest to work (she is without a car temporarily...but I digress for a record third time). I had to be up by 4 am to get her at 5 and to work by 5:30. As it turned out, she had been up most of the night with a hacking cough. In spite of that, and the fact she is prone to asthma, she was ready on time and showed up.

Showing up, that's the thing. Neither sleet nor hacking cough, those of us with a work ethic show up when we are expected to, and others come to rely on us. That is one small way in which we become valuable to this world. And, I guess, we learn it from out fathers/mothers. We learn it not as one learns from a classroom lecture but, rather, we learn it by seeing it modeled for us. We learn it by example. I will not belabor the obvious question as to how a child brought up in a home in which there is not a working parent learns the importance and value of work? Perhaps I will ponder that later today as I...

Paddle safe...


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