Work Makes Life Sweet

2 May

Some years ago I was teaching at a small residential college and after a couple years noticed that high school students would enroll in the autumn and at Thanksgiving we would send home young adults.  This enormous change had little to do with what happened in the classroom and dramatically illustrated the influence of a new environment.

Last summer I hired a HS student to work with me in the yard, 1.5 acres, dozens of trees.  He played sports on both State winning football and soccer teams and is courteous, thoughtful and a hard worker.  This spring he is again working with me and I have noticed a big improvement in his confidence, ability to work without detailed direction, timeliness and communication skills. What could have happened?

He got a job, a part-time job at a pizza place where he does car deliveries on the weekend and works in the restaurant on week-nights.

Some years ago a client mentioned to me that one of the best things that had ever happened to his son was to get a job at McDonalds, where he learned how to work.  Perhaps High Schools should place less emphasis on sports and more on helping young people get wage paying jobs.  Ask yourself, which has more relevance to a person’s future?

An extraordinary colleague from New York City once mentioned a Yiddish aphorism: “Work Makes Life Sweet.”  Food for thought.

So begins a series on jobs.

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