Lately, I’ve been thinking about the people who work hard to earn a living. I’ve also been thinking about how these people are viewed by others; I mean we talk about how valued our labor force is yet, privately, how are these people viewed?
I grew up on a dairy farm. When you grow up in farming, you soon realize that your greatest personal asset is your ability to work. If you can do your own labor, you can make things happen-you can pursue dreams, make extra money and maybe even have some luxuries. I have always valued my own labor and that of others and always wonder why others don’t respect a hard worker.
I see a few things that bother me in regards to labor. I’ve seen people who hire-let’s say a carpenter-and then make the person’s life miserable. It’s like they have always wanted to treat someone like a slave and now they have the chance. I’ve always felt that if you hire someone to do a job, you let them do the work and stay out of their way. Maybe that comes from my dad who always told me to stay out of the way when someone worked on our farm. He respected a good worker and thought they should be given some sovereignty,;dad grew up with labor as his only asset and he knew its’ value.
I think some disrespect of hard work comes as a result of poor mentoring. Some of this culture’s leaders seem to think that their elevated position mean they no longer have to produce. The people they oversee then start to believe that one of the signs of elevated status is that you no longer have to work very hard. If the reward of higher pay and higher work status is given to those who do nothing then it’s actually logical to believe that laziness is a character trait that is rewarded. If we have good leaders who pitch in and help and are involved in the daily grind then the people they supervise will see that hard work is a trait that is rewarded. We all model after a good mentor and if we see hard work is rewarded then we will work hard. If our mentor is lazy or does not make a good model for us to follow then we often will be lazy and of low character. We will be a culture of those who flatter, connive and spend their lives hiding in an office.
We live in a world that pursues robotics and efficiencies that remove human labor from creation and maintenance. The truth is, we will always need humans who not only take pride in their work but find value in their own labor. If were are to have such people, we need to respect them and have the sort of culture that creates more of them. We also need to be the people we want them to become one day. All it takes is a little hard work.