PETTY PONDERING - Leanin’ on Shovel Handles

(06/16/2004)

Opinion and Comment: Teresa Starcher

My father was always quick to admonish those of the “younger generation” to “Earn your bread from the sweat of your brow”. Now, whether this adage came from the Bible (Gen.3:19) or Poor Richards’ Almanac, I doubt he knew, for he was often apt to quote from both with equal confidence in each being the gospel truth.

Many times I have seen my father work like an animal brute. Sweat soaked with his shirt plastered to his body and since the brim of the baseball cap that he always wore was completely saturated, the sweat trickled into the furrows of the frown of concentration he also always wore, and run in a rivulet between heavy eyebrows only to drip off his nose more profusely than a leaky faucet.

Although this kind of labor is foreign to today’s population. My father seemed to thrive on it with a habitualness he considered his due. Yet he did take pride in a job well done. So he always gave it his best.

Lately I have been wondering what effect it would have on society as a whole if nobody ever applied themselves nor took interest in doing their individual jobs, at least reasonably well.

Let’s see now, If air plane mechanics weren't conscientious in checking or tightening bolts, then planes could lose wheels or even doors; Oops, I recollect that has happened.

Ok, what if surgeons weren’t meticulous during an operation? A body could end up losing something they needed or something being lost in them. Yeah, I recall that’s been done also.

Why should firemen even bother to go to a fire? What if your doctor was so wrong in his diagnosis that you died? So what if your lawyer was so unscrupulous that he took all your money for nothing in return. So you’re in the same boat as before, only poorer.

Should the police be dutiful in rushing to the scene of a crime? I hope you never need a cop around here very quick. For if cops were incompetent and prosecutors or judges were derelict, then criminals would go free. Oops again.

I’ve saved the best for last. What if state road workers really done nothing all day but lean on their shovel handle? Then literally this nation would go nowhere.

With all joking aside, I know this accusation to be false; at least when my father worked for the State Road Commission.

Why such apathy these days? Half-heartedness and indifference seem to be the norm. From factory workers to public officials through blue and white-collar jobs, many function with a lackadaisical attitude.

Wake up! You and your job are important to America.

Don’t view your job with detachment. Take pride and always be mindful that you are a significant contributor to society as a whole. That job is there because there is a necessity for it.

Stop and take stock of your values. Someone, somewhere is depending upon you, for it being done well.

This column will appear under OPINONS AND COMMENTS.


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