Sunday, March 21

This I Believe

So before I post this I wanted to say that I don't post much on this blog, I leave that to Maggie. But every once in a while I think I need to post a thought or two.

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived.

I hope you enjoy mine.

I believe that if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, don’t. My father taught me that. I don’t want to say that hard work doesn’t profit you or benefit you, but if you are opposed to working in the trenches and getting your hands dirty then aspire for something better.

As a child I went to work with my father, the general contractor, to ‘help’ him on his jobs. During the summertime, when school was out, and sometimes on weekends I would climb gleefully into his truck. The smell of sawdust wafting into my face as I bounce on the seat, the same sawdust covered the dashboard and console of the truck. Our first stop of the day was at a gas station where my father would fill up his mug with his Diet Coke and purchase a sweet roll, I would follow him to the fountain and grab me a large cup to fill with my Root Beer and then over to the pastry cabinet for my chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting. My father pointed out to me that the glazed doughnuts are so much better and sweeter. My comment, as a child at that time, was simple in my mind “I hate getting my hands dirty, Dad.”

My father proceeded to take the rest of the day and the rest of my life reflecting on my comment and taught me a valuable lesson. He explained to me that he has worked manual labor his whole life. He never graduated High School and was a misfit in his younger years. He was lucky to be taught by his Father-In-Law a trade in construction and he is grateful for that. He learned the value of working hard and having a strong work ethic. Be good at your job, do it well, do it better than the other guy and do it faster. Be paid by your ability and not by your time. Many times my father explained to me that if I didn’t want to get my hands dirty with something as sweet as a doughnut then I definitely don’t want to get them dirty with manual labor. He taught me to work hard in school, develop my skills in such a way to be paid for my mind and not by my strength or the sweat of my brow.

I appreciate the blue collar worker. I believe myself to be from a great strong stock of hard workers who made it possible for me to be white collar because of their example. I worked harder in school to get better grades and learned from my father that I have a choice in my life to get my hands dirty in jeans or get my hands dirty through sales in slacks and a tie.

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