May 4, 2011
Posted in Journal
One of the things I've been amazed to find out in my adult life is how it's become almost a taboo to work hard. People who use their back to get things done are looked down upon. When did hard work become such a shameful thing?
I come from a very long line of women who work(ed) hard on a regular basis. Every day. My father and his father and those before him busted their backs to get where they are. And my husband is one of the hardest working people I know, never stopping for anything and never complaining. And we have a great sense of pride in the fact that the things we have, we have worked hard for.
I think we have gotten to an age where we worship at the Altar of Education (and money). The best thing you can do with your life is graduate college with some fancy degree so you can earn billions of dollars. But you know what I've noticed? Those people that have those pieces of paper get out into the world and don't know how to work. (I have to be completely honest here and tell you I've only completed some college - but I sure do know how to work.)
As a mother raising children I've found it to be especially sad, or disturbing, that a lot of parents (from what I've witnessed) aren't concerned with teaching their children how to actually live. Laundry? Umm, how? Cook? That's what the microwave is for! Be happy to sweep floors just to earn a living? Not on your life.
We push "higher" education, spending thousands of dollars or, worse yet, plummeting ourselves and our children into debt to serve what purpose? Most people who get their degrees either get to the end and realize they don't want to do what they were taught, or they can't find the work in that field so they must go somewhere else to get a paycheck, usually something "below" them because it requires one to work hard.
And that's wrong! Horrible! Ugh, I have this fancy piece of paper that should allow me to sit on my butt and command people to do things, but I'm stuck here using my back to earn a living. Greed. That's the motivation.
Whatever happened to parents who trained their children in the way they work? What happened to apprentices? What happened to just being proud of the fact that you've worked hard for the little bit you have and not worrying about spending the next 4-10 years of your life in more school without actually living your life.
I think I heard it put best on a podcast I enjoy called Homemakers by Choice. Are we teaching our children to go to college to seek knowledge (as we should) or teaching them to go to college to seek money?
I'm all for learning as much as you possibly can about anything. Push yourself, become more knowledgeable. Ben and I have both thought about going back to school. And I'll of course be encouraging my children to go to college once we get to that point. But if they decide not to? I won't force them, and I won't be upset if they don't. Because we'll have taught them how to work. Honest to goodness work. How to live and enjoy life, no matter their education level. And we'll have taught them that in the end, that's all that matters.
Not that pretty piece of paper on the wall.
P.S. - I in no way mean this as an attack on people who do seek higher education. I applaud those who have expanded their brains and lives! I've just become frustrated that college is now the meaning of life and we look down upon just living simply and quietly and working hard.