The stuff my parents told me.
One thing I heard more than once was — “Look, ya lost. You’ll need to practice more and try harder next time.”
I cannot be thankful enough for hearing those words with nearly every defeat growing up. However, some parents today would look at those first three words and almost equate them with child abuse.
Let us take a magnifying glass to what mom and dad said.
“Look, ya lost” — was a way to tell me to examine the facts. In life, we need to evaluate our talents and abilities. To do so, we also have to recognize our weaknesses.
“You’ll need to practice more” — in other words, “if you want to be more successful at this. you’re going to need to work harder at it.”
“Try harder next time” — some will read into this that my parents were implying that I did not give it my best. However, what they were telling me was that there is always room for improvement. Because I could evaluate the facts, examine how things could have gone differently, along with the increase in preparation, the next time should have more desirable results.
It saddens me to see people today taking the attitude that trying harder is unnecessary.
Moving forward a few years, now a story from 1980. Our oldest son was not yet a year old; our oldest daughter was due to arrive in a few months. I was making $3.80 an hour and paying my way through college. Things were difficult financially. We applied for food stamps. At that time, in the state we lived in, you were also required to apply for welfare if you applied for food stamps.
The welfare fellow looked at our paperwork and asked me if I would ask my employer to cut my workdays from six to three. I explained we were having a hard time making it, and I worked six days to get the eight hours of overtime. I did not see how cutting my work week in half would help.
The man explained that I make X working six days a week, but with what the state could pay me by only working three days, I would bring X+$20 into the house each week. He told me that I could bring in an extra $80 a month by cutting my work week in half and letting the government make up the difference.
I pointed to my son, who was sitting on my wife’s lap and told the man I had no intention of teaching that boy that it is more profitable not to work.
The man told me I was missing an opportunity to improve my family’s situation. That by accepting welfare and working less, I could bring the needed prosperity.
I explained to him that I was looking for temporary help. That at some point would come a raise, a promotion, or a new, better-paying job. I explained I did not want to find myself in a situation where I believed not working was the solution.
Let us return to 2021.
Last week a fast-food restaurant in my area posted signs on the door and on the speaker to the drive-through that read, “No one wants to work anymore. So please be patient with the 2 PEOPLE that did show up tonight. Thanks Management.”
I have had people tell me that they are not planning to look for work until the unemployment runs out.
Also, in my neck of the woods, the only businesses without help wanted sings are run by the Amish. A local factory recently placed an ad stating they would no longer require a drug test as terms for hiring – they are begging for people. My youngest son works at the nursing home offering $10,000 sign-on bonuses for nurses and $5,000 for CNAs. There is not a people shortage, but there seems to be a worker shortage.
Through hard work and perseverance, the success that America offered used to be the envy of the world. Now it seems; get by with as little work as possible is our new motto.
Christ tells the story of a worker who does everything ordered and does it well. But He ends the story by saying this, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). Jesus is telling us unless we go the extra mile, we are “unprofitable.”
“Look, ya lost. You’ll need to practice more and try harder next time.”
Examine the facts, work harder; there is always room for improvement.