HARD WORKERS OR SHIRKERS?
by OPOVV, ©2013
(Jun. 15, 2013) — The “Who are we?” is the easy part: we’re Americans. The “What?” is a little more complicated.
In JFK’s challenge to America to send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth, he said we can do this, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.
I must admit, it took me years to figure that one out. Why would anyone want to do something that’s hard, or difficult, or time-consuming? Why not do it the easy way, do it fast, spend as little money and time as possible to get the job done? After all, isn’t that being smart? Let the fool work his tail off. Me? I’m taking a break. I’m opening a cold one and kicking back. I’m cooling out watching the game. I’m chillin’ and don’t particularly wish to be bothered. Leave me alone.
Then I grew up. Looking back on it, the transformation from being a “know-it-all” (“Look at how smart I am”) to actually using my name and the word “mature” in the same sentence was an immediate event, an epiphany. But in reality it took many years of doing things over, making mistakes, making the same mistakes over and over again, not admitting the truth to myself that there no “easy” way after all: it’s ALL hard work.
Finally, my dad’s continuous admonishing “Do the job right the first time” made perfect sense. Life, believe it or not, was easier. It was easier to save the money and pay cash for a car than to make payments. It was easier paying a little more on each bill every month so that when Christmas came around, all the bills, such as telephone, water, electric, were just about paid for and the money usually spent to pay those bills instead bought presents, or school supplies, or tires. I’d save up all my change throughout the year, which made Christmas even more exciting.
I learned that going through life following the law makes life more enjoyable than not. I used to think I was in a hurry driving from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, never taking into account that I had to cross two sets of railroad tracks and about a zillion intersections, some with stop signs, some with four-way stop signs, and some with stop lights. I’ll tell you all something: rushing to a red light and slamming on the brakes, or creeping up while the light is red, does NOT make the light turn green any faster. Every time you go out you have a choice: do you drive the speed limit and get there in 20 minutes or do you speed, get a ticket, and get there in 40 minutes? I started going to sleep a little earlier; getting up in the morning a little earlier and leaving the house about 15 minutes earlier than normal made for a pleasant morning, and, therefore, the rest of the day. My stress level went to as near as zero as possible.
So that’s the answer, that’s the secret of the pride that we’ve had in “Made in USA”: hard work results in a quality product, in a quality life where pride in doing something right the first time pays off in productivity and efficiency. The American way. Extending the front forks on your Harley? Why stop at 18? Go to the max. If your goal is to get 26 mpg, surely you can do 30 by checking the tire pressures and getting rid of the lead foot.
We don’t think we can deport 20 million unwanted Muslims and illegal immigrants. Let me tell you something: it’ll be hard, and just because it’ll be a hard task means that we can do it. We can accomplish anything if we’ve a mind to. I believe we’ve a mind to clean up our act. Do it all by the end of the decade, or sooner. I like sooner.