Why does it seem that more and more, mediocrity is rewarded? When I was 16 years old, I was working at a fast food chain for a minimum wage. Did I want more? Sure. Did I deserve more? Maybe, but that wasn’t for me to decide. What was my decision was how I was going to work for that lesser wage. Growing up, I was always taught to do my best at whatever I did. Even if I was scrubbing toilets, I should clean them the best that I could. My motivation was NOT to put the effort I felt the wage deserved. Instead, we had fun when we worked. Yes, it was hard work, but it also taught me some very valuable lessons. Lessons that often seemed to be missed today.

There is talk of raising the minimum wage so that workers can earn a “livable wage”. Okay, I understand their point, but I also don’t necessarily agree with it. What happened to working your tail off so that they have to give you a raise or risk losing their best worker?

Almost everywhere I go today, the service is questionable (to put it lightly). It seems to have reached a point that when I see superior service, I am often stunned. People being grateful to have a job and taking pride in what they do, seems to be the rarity, and not the norm. We seem to live in an age now where there is a sense of entitlement. I have personally been in business establishments and seen workers say they won’t do something they think is beneath them. Where does that come from?

Fortunately, I am blessed in a couple of ways. First, I work for an organization where the president is willing to get his hands dirty and help out whenever a need arises. He could very easily, and perhaps understandably, let his workers do the grunt work. Instead he leads by example. Needless to say, we don’t have any issues at our organization with people willing to pitch in to help each other. Secondly, I have 3 boys that I have personally seen work their tails off. They have been complimented on countless occasions for their good work ethic. And although it’s nice to hear that my boys get it, I am also discouraged by the comments. You see, they are noticed because they are the anomaly, and not the norm.

Personally, I believe it starts with parenting. If we only tell our kids that they are the best and they only deserve the best, then they will not learn to work hard for anything. If we teach them that they are always a winner, simply by participating, then that’s exactly how they will approach their jobs. Next, we need to lead by example. Personally, I still remember my parents and grandparents working hard in everything they did. I would hope that I have been able to be the same for my kids.

Nobody wins at everything. In fact, it is the failures that build up the calluses and teach us that we need to put in our best effort if we plan to succeed.

“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

Mark Etting

Author Mark Etting

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