I used to watch a lot more Notre Dame football. My mom’s side of the family is Irish Catholic so there was usually encouragement to ‘marry a redheaded Irish girl’ and go to Notre Dame. I didn’t do either of those. I married a beautiful half-Mexican brunette and went to a smaller Catholic university in Central Texas. When I got older, my brother and his friends and I would celebrate (yes, celebrate) the start of each football season with a Game Day gift exchange and a whole lot of beer. Then, we’d celebrate each game after that without gifts, but still with a lot of beer.
Within a few years, my brother went overboard with the drinking and prescription drugs and a whole lot of bad decisions and some of the resentment has kind of rubbed off on the Notre Dame experience. It’s totally irrational, I know, but it’s just one of those things. So I haven’t watched a whole lot of games these past few seasons.
That’s not to say that I don’t still bleed Blue and Gold. And that’s no to say that I don’t still enjoy that rich history of one of the longest-running football programs in the nation, which is why I chose to use a Lou Holtz quote for this post. But this post isn’t about football necessarily, it’s about hard work.
If you’ve read the last post, you’ve probably pieced together that I work with/supervise some guys that are terribly hard workers. It’s hard for me to understand why someone would go to work and not do work. My parents taught me the value of hard work and the joy of completing tasks and I get a lot of satisfaction out of putting in hard work. It makes me worry about the future of the human race when I see people who move in slow motion or who sit around all day and talk or do nothing.
That’s why I like this quote. I wouldn’t necessarily call these people ‘losers’ but I think it a person’s attitude towards their work really speaks to their character. If you sit and complain about having to do your job, then why are you there? What makes you think that anyone owes you anything if you’re not doing anything in return? What makes you so special?
I’ve had a lot of difficult jobs. I’ve worked twelve-hour shifts stocking beer. I’ve worked sixteen hour shifts at a psychiatric facility for children. I’ve taught in the projects. Every one of those jobs and the handful of others that I’ve had all had their difficulties. I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever really had an ‘easy’ job. But I always made it a point to get after it when I clocked in. I pushed myself to learn and grow in the job and if it wasn’t a good fit, then I would find something else. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my moments of slacking off or being off-task, but I always got the job done.
If you sit around and you don’t get anything done, you start to feel like your job is worthless. Which isn’t true. You’re the one who’s worthless because you’re not doing your job. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, that’s fine. Find something that you are passionate about (more about that in the next post). But if you’re at work, do work. It’s simple.
I think that this attitude is a symptom of a greater disease in our culture. This idea that showing up is enough and that competition is bad. You can’t hurt anyone’s feelings. We have to take care of everyone. Welfare.
Whatever happened to “no such thing as a free lunch?” The way I see it, there are plenty of people that are getting free lunches because a bunch of other people are working their butts off and pumping money into these social service organizations. Why is the government providing handouts for people who don’t want to work? Why are the rest of us footing the bill for people who have no intention of even trying to remove themselves from the government teat? Where did we as a nation go wrong?
The fundamental role of the government should be to protect, not provide. Charity should come from, you guessed it, charities. Let people choose where their hard-earned money is going. Because this is getting out of hand.
But I digress. My point is that hard work built this country. Hard work is good for you. Hard work is good for everyone. So get out there, pick something worth doing and get to work.