Apprenticeships have long been a proven way to transfer knowledge to the next generation. For most of human history, there was but one way to gain the expertise required to master a skill, and that was to study under someone who had studied under someone else down through time.

Even the mental arts, such as philosophy, were learned this way. Apprenticeship was a way of seeing your teacher in “full spectrum.” In other words, you saw their whole personality because one lived with their master while they were being taught.

Today’s education is very different from this, and I am not sure that it is better.

As I deal with customer service personnel on a daily basis, I am taken back by how bad service has become. I am sure I am not the only person who has noticed this. It has slowly gotten worse over the past few decades, but it seems to have sped up since workers have returned from COVID lockdowns.

The question is why.

After giving it some significant thought, I believe it has more to do with how we educate workers now than any other factor.

In the not-too-distant past, most people grew up on a farm where they went to work with their father or mother until they were practically adults. On that farm, one saw how their parents worked on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Not only did one see them work hard, but they were also “invited” to participate themselves. One was not “instructed” on how work was done; they did it until they learned it.

Just the act of seeing your parents work hard gave you an idea of what was expected of you. We see this played out in the world wars; when farm workers went to war, those from the cities were often put to shame in not only working, but also in surviving and fighting in general.

I have thought back to how often my kids watched me work when they were growing up, and sadly, it was a few times compared to the number of times I saw my father work. Then, when I see my grandkids – well, you get the picture, and that picture is not pretty.

Some things can only be done by doing. It’s a forgotten proverb we need to relearn.

Why must human nature relearn old lessons?

Somewhere along the past few decades, we got the idea that working smarter means not working hard. That is a misunderstanding. Sometimes, hard work is what purifies the soul and clears the mind.

At a time when so many are full of anxiety and stress; hard work is really the only cure there is.

Proverbs 14:23 warns us, “In all toil, there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”

Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for your human masters.”

It’s really a simple truth: diligent work is necessary for sanity and if we really love our children, we will teach them this truth when they are young… and we will do it by example – when they can see us.

-The Loan Arranger