Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 241, August 29

Last week, men worked in our front yard, putting in sprinklers and laying new sod. Despite temperatures that hovered near the 100 degree mark, the men worked unceasingly, giving their best efforts to the job.
My admiration for them grew as the temperature climbed. As I sat in the air-conditioned luxury of my home, I acknowledged that I have neither the skill nor strength to do what these men did.
Too frequently, our society looks down upon work. As our nation becomes a land of entitlement where many expect to be supported by others, I am awed and humbled by those who perform physical labor. Could I lay sprinklers? No. Could I move sod? No. Could I do any of the chores these workers do with quiet efficiency? Absolutely not. My work takes different forms in different venues and requires different skill sets. What is important is not what kind of work we do but that we produce, create, serve.
Finding honor in work, finding satisfaction in a job well done, are increasingly rare qualities, and, occasionally, I despair over the fate of our country. As I gazed at these men, though, I found my faith in the future of America swelling.
So, for today, I am grateful for those individuals who value work over idleness.


  1. Not only that, but when they saw me lifting the landscaping brinks, they offered to help me. I declined, seeing how busy they were with a paid job. But that kindness has stayed with me.

  2. You're so right! One of the things that bothered me when I had a day job was that employees seemed to venerate the CEO but had little (if any) respect for the janitors and the women who cleaned the restrooms. In my opinion, the latter were at least as important -- perhaps even more so -- than the CEO who was paid millions of dollars a year.