The Newnan Times-Herald


The value of hard work

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 14, 2019 - 8:14 AM

The value of hard work

The Newnan Times-Herald

Bombarded by the endless chattering of leftist-socialist-mindless rhetoric promoting taxpayer funded “living wage” entitlements like those recently instituted in Italy and the naïve belief that free college, free health care and cash payments to even those “unwilling” to work begs for someone to shake me from this dreadful nightmare that is overtaking this country.

Our country’s forefathers served this republic on a part-time basis as their full-time occupations as farmers, lawyers and business owners were their primary focus of life compared to the parasitic approach of today’s politicians and bureaucrats generating a king’s ransom of personal gain from a lifetime career of useless regulations and legislation adversely targeting those who actually earn a wage through the sweat of their brow.

In a recent book I have been reading, entitled “Excellence Wins” by Horst Schulze, the co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, he writes, “Psychologists tell us that human beings rarely take up new behaviors past the age of about 16 – unless they experience a significant emotional event. Otherwise, they keep doing what they’ve done before, what their parents and other role models have ingrained in them, reacting in the same ways they’ve always reacted.”

Those of us who have experienced being brought up as children in what would be considered by today’s standards as “hard-labor” know how to work past the pain and keep your eye on the goal of completion.

Believing one of my responsibilities as a grandfather is to teach my grandchildren, I made my four-year-old grandson a proposition: I will pay you $2 for every empty five-gallon bucket you fill with the wood trimmings from a recent four-board fence project that hit the ground and $1 for digging up a partially buried hubcap I found adjacent to the fence.

He enthusiastically agreed to the offer and, with screwdriver and demolition tool in hand, he filled three buckets with wood trimmings and dug up that hubcap, believing with a child’s imagination it was a pirate’s treasure. I shook his hand and paid him the $7 I owed for the job well done.

On a side note, he quickly deposited his earnings in his piggy-bank, cleaned up the dirty hubcap and has it hanging on his bedroom wall because that’s the way you properly display finding a pirate’s treasure.

Now, what did he learn from this lesson? 1.) People appreciate a job well done. Praise is given to the person who fills the bucket, not the one who sits on the bucket with an open palm extended. 2.) Money is obtained through the exchange of labor for a job completed, not the “participation trophy” of money for their mere existence. 3.) The feeling of work is a reward all its own. He constantly said, while digging with that screwdriver, “This is fun.”

Are we challenging the next generation to work or are we giving them “an allowance” because they crawled out of bed today? Are we wasting the opportunity of their formidable years by restricting their exposure to physical labor or do we honestly believe allowing the mindless gaze into the abyss of a video screen will develop those behavioral traits quality employers are searching for in the labor force of tomorrow? Are we seeing the deranged byproducts in today’s freshman political class that are derived from textbook theories and not the perspective from calloused hands?

Next week’s lesson: “Grandpa, what are the consequences of miscellaneous taxable income?”

The Precinct Press is authored by W.J. Butcher, a retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: