I was on the phone the other day with a friend. Good guy. Without a doubt the best guy I know. And we were talking a bit about what was going on in the world of schoolteachers getting ready for back to class, back to pencils, back to books, back to teachers’ dirty looks. That’s next week, by the way.
He was doing some work at the schoolhouse, and I had just come in from manicuring the lawn. That’s what I try to do. I don’t cut it. I want it to look nice. Not because I want to win a yard of the month award but because I’ve got something in me that demands I do the best at whatever task I undertake.
This has caused me some pain and disappointment over the years, but there it is all the same.
It’s pride. I’ve got pride in what I do. Pride when no one else notices. Pride when no one else cares. Now, this isn’t that kinda pride that’s one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s not that arrogant, “I’m better than you and want you to know it, bay-bay,” kinda pride.
It’s just taking pleasure in doing something on your own and to the best of your ability.
So, we were on the phone. Back to that. And I told him what I was feeling, and he said he understood, and we wondered how prevalent that feeling is among the rest of God’s folk.
Did you know that “work” and its importance is mentioned nearly a thousand times in the Good Book? Do you ever feel bored just sitting around? Do you ever feel, I hazard to use this word and have you think poorly of my choice of phrase, but do you ever just feel “yucky” by spending too much time on the couch or in the bed and not out doing something?
We’re not meant to sit idly by and let everyone else make the world go round for us. We’re meant to be active, to work, to create, to give something to the world in which we live. That out there – that’s God’s house. That’s the house Yeshua’s Father made for me and you and all those people you claim to love and all those you claim to hate. We’re meant to be out there, and if we’re not out there, we’re meant to be in the houses we made doing something worthwhile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, my fourth favorite writer, believed that everyone possesses inherent worth and potential. He emphasized the importance of recognizing our unique abilities and channeling them into our work. Our efforts, regardless of recognition, contribute to our personal growth, development, and self-fulfillment. When we approach our work with passion, we nourish our own potential, paving the way for personal triumph regardless of external validation.
Our dedication and pride in our work have the power to inspire and influence others, even if recognition eludes us. Emerson wrote, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” When we approach our work with unwavering commitment and passion, we become beacons of inspiration to those around us. Our dedication can ignite a spark within others, encouraging them to find their own intrinsic motivation and take pride in their endeavors, regardless of external kudos.
People notice. Kids notice. And the young ones need good examples to follow in a world where good examples are few and far between. Lotta kids have nothing to look up. Only things to look down on. They’re raised down, yall. Not up. Put down. Never raised up.
The reward of a job well done is having done it. For those of you who still care about such things, please pass that sentiment on along.
(Josh Beavers is an award-winning writer and author. He has earned more than 40 individual writing awards and is syndicated in 12 North Louisiana news journals. The Louisiana Press Association has recognized him five times for excellence in opinion writing, and he has earned numerous Best Investigative Reporting Awards and Freedom of Information Awards for exposure of governmental corruption in Webster Parish.)