Friday, April 24, 2009

Work ethic


I will turn 67 in a few days. Each birthday represents a time of review and introspection. I have five children and seven grandchildren and this semester I was teaching over 70 students at the college with an average age of around 20. It is easy for my life to flash before me on a daily basis when I think of the age of the young people in my life and where I was at that time of my life.

I see a major change in the work ethic. Somewhere we have forgotten teach children to work. My mother made me go to the local store each day and sweep the floors for 25 cents and hour. I was nine years old. I have worked almost every day since. At the time I resented being made to work and thought that I was being cheated because my friends got to sleep in and just hang out all day long. Remember that was in the 1940s and it has gotten worse since then.

Young people today seem to think that a house and food and clothes are some sort of entitlement that just comes with life. Today's generation will oftentimes graduate from college and move back home to live in the same room they occupied during the first eighteen years of their life. It is no wonder they feel it is an entitlement.

Maybe this downturn in our economy will cause some to learn a good work ethic. They now say this is the worst recession since World War II. Maybe when the money and benefits from mom and dad slow down or stop they will wake up and finally decide that they need to get up, get out and go to work. Let's hope so. Let's hope so for their generation and not mine. g

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