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From Yesterday to Today: The Job is Sacred

Welcome to the front porch

Sit yourself down on our front porch, 4022 North 18th, Tacoma, Washington, circa 1965. There’s always something to talk about on our front porch, and there’s always room on the stoop for you. Welcome! Can I get you a beer? A Double Cola? Lemonade?

Mom and Dad just left for work, so it’s just you and me, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to steer our conversation about that very topic, namely work.

The old home

The old home

The truth as I remember it

I watched my dad go to work for the better part of twenty years.

I never saw him call in sick.

Let that sink in for a moment. He worked full-time, day in, day out, all kinds of weather, all manner of distractions, for the twenty years I was his son, and he never once missed work for an illness or injury.

Lord God Almighty, how is that possible?

To add to that discussion, I don’t remember my mom missing work either, not during that same twenty-year span.

Two people, from 1948 to 1969, Dad working full-time, Mom working part-time and full-time, depending upon the year, and neither of them called in sick. In the spirit of total transparency, I can’t remember the number of times I have called in sick with hangovers or aches or pains or just “don’t-give-a-damnitis during any twenty-year period, and I like to think I’ve got a pretty good work ethic.

But never? No chance!

One tough s.o.b.

One tough s.o.b.

That generation

They were called the G.I. Generation, a couple years before The Silent Generation, and that collective group of people experienced some serious challenges. They were kids, or teens, during The Great Depression, and the deprivation during that span of time cannot be overstated. My dad literally dropped out of high school, as a sophomore, and rode in boxcars to distant towns looking for work so he could send money back home for his parents. My mom held down two part-time jobs, as a teen, to help her parents. They stood in bread lines. They saw their parents lose possessions. To my parents, a job was a sacred thing, and you did not devalue a sacred thing by calling in sick. You strapped on your big girl and big boy panties and you went to work, no matter how you felt, end of story.

And they then moved from that horrendous period of time to World War 2, Dad enlisting at eighteen, Mom working as a welder in the shipyards, death touching them both in lost relatives and lost friends, all before either of them reached the age of twenty-one, and the sacredness of daily labor remained, etched on their souls for all-time.

Hard-working, loving people

Hard-working, loving people

The American Dream

And the war ended, and all of those soldiers and welders were free to chase the elusive American Dream, and the only way to get ahead was to get a job, work hard, save money, and do it all over again, and again, and again, until, well, you finally, hopefully, had a front porch to sit on at the end of the day, bone-weary, mind-weary, and a cold drink and harsh memories to keep you company, the white picket fence bordering your tiny piece of a giant pie.

Into that family I was adopted, and I heard the stories, and I grew to value a job, my first job in a bowling alley at fifteen, making $1.50 an hour, all bowling free, and I thought I was King of the Hill, you know? And then a warehouse job during summer vacations, a Teamster job, ten bucks an hour and I thought I had it made in the shade, baby, money to burn and not a care in the world, and followed that up with a couple college degrees, the first in our family to do so, and multiple jobs, and a family, and my own little slice of my parents’ dream, day after day, year after year, until one day, I can’t give you a specific date, I woke up and wondered what the hell I was doing, chasing my own tail for what?

Fast-forward to today

It’s different today, don’t you think? Of course, of course, there are still hard-workers, people who value a job and do their damndest to be good workers, but there is also a boatload of people who don’t want to work, who play the system for freebies, and many who just don’t see the point of hard work at all.

Toss in those who, no matter how hard they try, never will find a good-paying job, and those who work multiple jobs and never will experience the American Dream, and have given up hope, and see no value in even trying any longer.

It would take a considerable amount of time to discuss the why’s of it all. How did we go from the G.I. Generation, and their work ethic, to today? How did we go from so many opportunities to so few? How did the quality job pool shrink so drastically for so many? Why did so many stop dreaming?

I have my suspicions, but those are for another day.

Is there any chance of reversing this social trend?

I don’t know, to be honest with you. The income gap is growing wider. That’s not some liberal theory. It’s a fact, Jack. The rich are getting richer, and trickle-down economics simply did not work. So I understand why some simply say “what’s the point?” I also understand the bitterness. When I graduated from college in 1970, there were opportunities for many of us. I had a good-paying job within two weeks of graduation, and by and large I’ve been paid well my entire work career. But I was put in that position, a position of possibilities, by hard-working parents who sacrificed so that I could go to college. I was put in that position by being born white and having that head start in the job race. I was not born into poverty. I was not born into a world of “no chance.”

And now we have this COVID-19 thing going on, and unemployment reaching twenty percent in some parts of the country, and the opportunities are few and far between for millions of people, and for many the American Dream is a pipe dream never to be realized.

So why try at all?

Words from long ago

These words flow through my veins, words from my Dad, and they will be with me until I die: you never give up! You never back down! You never give up ground won! For sure, they are “just words” to many who are beaten down and see no way back up, but to me they are a philosophy of life, and they saved my life thirteen years ago.

Are they valid for you? Are they valid for the tens of millions of people who are struggling and have no hope? I can’t answer that. It would be ridiculous of me to shout down from the mountaintop my words of salvation, and tell you all that those words, that message, are universal in nature. They are not!

But they were for me!

That’s what we do here

On the front porch, from yesterday to today, we talk about life, something we all have experienced. There are some truths which have stood the test of time, and it never hurts to talk about life, and truth, right?

Thanks so much for joining me. You’re welcome any old time. I’ll always have a cold one waiting for you.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping human beings to spread their wings and fly.”

H.O.W. (Humanity One World)

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 20, 2020:

A dried gourd, Peggy? I'm laughing! My mother used the same thing. Wow! I hadn't thought of that in years. Thanks for jogging my memory.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Yes, Bill, patches on clothing was the norm. I well remember watching my mother darn socks that had developed holes in them. She used a dried gourd that was just the right size to insert into the sock before she used a needle and thread to repair the hole.

"A stitch in time, saves nine" was an old saying back then. It still makes sense today.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 29, 2020:

Oh Genna, thanks for the words of advice about air travel. I'll keep that in mind. I like trains. I much prefer them to planes. Now I have a reason to use trains all the time I travel.

I hope you are well, my friend. Happy 4th to you.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on June 28, 2020:

Hi Bill. Your description of your Mom and Dad is heartwarming and inspiring. My folks rarely missed work, if ever, as well. Hard acts to follow, my friend, but I suspect their ethics influenced us as well. So did the opportunities we had and have, that are not so prevalent today. Theirs was a different generation, but they taught us so much.

Times have changed. An example: My son is a pilot for Southwest. He and his fellow pilots are astonished at the lowering of standards that are planned for the next generation of pilots that are slowly to take over. (I won't go into the details, but it's a little scary. I plan to start taking trains when these plans go into effect.) Why? "Because they don't want to do the work that we had to do," says my son. True story. But so is the shrinking of the middle class and the enormous gap in compensation between the "uppers and the lowers."

Excellent article, Bill...and thought provoking.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 25, 2020:

I'm with you, Brenda. I miss those days. I don't know what happened to them, or what happened to us, but I miss them.

Thank you for the visit. Stay safe!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on June 25, 2020:

Bill,

I so enjoyed this read. I miss those good ole days.

I remember them well.

It seems like values have been tossed out the window and honestly with this Covid-19 I think alot of people would rather sit back and draw unemployment. After all, one is making more sitting at home than going to work.

But I do have a few friends who go to work religiously stating they work for a living. I have great respect for them.

I wish people were friendly like those past days from my childhood. Always offering someone to sit a spell. Always having a meal or a drink ready for everyone.

Those times are gone.

But a piece if my heart will forever live back in those days.

Great video on WW11 and your pictures brought back so many memories.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2020:

Thank you Sha! Three years? You can do that standing on your head, right? lol Bev has two, but she is retiring at 62. Like you she is just dead tired of working, period, end of story. I think fifty years is enough for anyone.

Me, I've got to stay busy, but I only work when I want to work, and I don't take on any more than I want to take on. It's a nice balance.

All is well here, and my Father's Day was a good one, thank you!

Be well and be safe, my friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 22, 2020:

I'm a little late to the porch, Bill. But I hear you loud and clear. My dad didn't retire until he was seventy. Truth be told, I have three years before I can retire with full SS benefits and it can't come soon enough. Frankly, I'm tired of working. I've been going at it since I was fifteen. Now, at age sixty-three, I'd like to not answer to an alarm clock five days a week. I've earned it, in my eyes.

We are living in a different world today. With COVID-19 and the unemployment the Federal government is offering in addition to state unemployment compensation, many workers who are on furlough are making more money now than when they had a job and simply don't want to go back to work.

As always, you've offered a lot of food for thought, Bill.

I'm interested to see what direction the next porch conversation takes.

Have a great week! I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day, Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 22, 2020:

I hope that is true, Li-Jen. I know they were when they were alive; hopefully they are looking down on me and smiling. Thank you my friend.

Li-Jen Hew on June 21, 2020:

Hi Bill. Wow, you have a lot of experience to share. I'm glad you managed to get this far. Your parents would be proud of you. Happy Father's Day. Thanks for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2020:

Thanks William! Wise they were. Flawed they were. Loving they were.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 21, 2020:

A lot of insight there, Bill. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your parents were very wise people for sure.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2020:

Rajan, I think this pandemic is going to change a great deal in the workplace. I think out of necessity younger workers are going to learn hard work, or they will fall by the wayside.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2020:

You are absolutely correct, Nithya! College degrees guarantee nothing in the workplace now, and I find that amazing and a bit sad.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2020:

Thank you Dora! I think it happened gradually, each successive generation wanting to make life easier for their children. Now kids have it too easy, in my opinion.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2020:

Peggy, I grew up with patches on my jeans. That's just the way it was. We didn't have money to repair all of my clothes whenever there was a rip.

As for the virus, I think you are absolutely correct. Big changes in the workplace are coming, and that may not be a bad thing overall.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 19, 2020:

We have indeed come very far from the times of your Dad. The work culture and sanctity one attached to his/her job is not seen these days. A situation I doubt we will see again. Your article should make us ponder where, and, more importantly, why, we have faltered.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 19, 2020:

Nowadays, the work culture is not the same. Today getting a degree does not guarantee a well-paying job. With the current situation, people are losing jobs, and getting a job is also difficult because the companies are not hiring. You have a wonderful family; thank you for sharing these memories with us.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 19, 2020:

Where did we go wrong in allowing most of this generation to lose the concept of a sacred task? Thank God for parents like yours who modeled integrity and responsibility. We've got some modeling and preaching to do for those who will learn. Thanks for addressing this important topic.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 19, 2020:

We both come from an era when hard work was the norm. The Great Depression left its mark on people's memories, and lessons were learned. Clothing was patched, socks were darned, and things back then were made to last.

We face other challenges today with the pandemic, rising unemployment, and jobs that may never return. We need a complete overhaul of how our economy will work for the greater good in the future. As others have mentioned, technology has changed much. Education for jobs of the future must be addressed.

Hopefully, some smart leadership will emerge to lead us into the next century.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Zulma, you have raised some interesting questions, like Heidi. The job market has changed so drastically over the years. I think you are more correct that wrong in what you say. It's hard to find pride in a meaningless job that a monkey could do.

So far I haven't been compared to a monkey, so that's a good thing.

Thanks for sharing, my friend. I'll see you on the porch soon.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

It would certainly be worrisome to me if I were younger, Linda. Thankfully I am in a position where I don't have to worry about it. Thanks for your thoughts.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

You hit that nail on the head, Heidi! I do think this pandemic is going to shift the landscape a bit. It should be interesting to watch it play out.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Indeed, Flourish! There's an old saying about burning bridges. In the labor world, you can't burn too many bridges without it biting you in the butt, and especially if you own a company like the ones you mentioned.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Denise, that was a funny story, but it also reflected a work ethic we don't see very often these days. I tend to believe that's a bad thing, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise. :)

Blessings always

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Thank you Ann! It's interesting how some families instilled a "work hard" attitude in their children, while others didn't. I think it's a disservice to not teach children about hard work. Nothing is free in life; the sooner a child learns that fact the better.

As always, you are appreciated. Happy Thursday to you, my friend.

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

MizB, it's amazing to me we are still talking about pay equality. Women have been doing the same work as men since World War 2, and in many cases doing it better. How can it be 2020 and we still have this discussion? Amazing to me, quite frankly, but the figures don't lie.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

It's an interesting question, Linda. I wish I had an answer for you, but I suspect that is part of it. I also think far too many families are trying to make life easier for their children, and easier has been translated into not working as hard as their parents. I'm not sure that's a good approach.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Thank you for sharing that, Becky. I hope it all works out for your son. Meanwhile, for those who would stand by and watch while another does their work, I say SACK THEM and be done with them.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

I wish I had more answers, Mary! Fences indeed, tall fences, strong fences, isolating us at a time when we need each other. That needs to change.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Ahh, Liz, now you opened up another batch of worms. lol Indeed, which do we do? Happiness is the reward if we answer that question correctly.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Thank you Ruby! I have no easy answers to fix everything. I just have observations based on my life, and thoughts about it all. I do know there is nothing wrong with working hard, for a purpose, and working hard while, at the same time, respecting those you deal with.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

I could not agree with you more, Manatita. Change begins at home. There is more to raising a child than teaching them to tie their shoes and ride a bike. Morals help to shape a human being; without strong morals, the shape will be distorted.

Thank you my friend! Now that you and I have solved the world's problems, we can have a barbecue. lol

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Truth, Eric! My dad never, ever complained about his job, even though I am quite certain he did not enjoy it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Thank you Pamela! I do think this country is heading for a seismic shift in the way we look at work and jobs and the like. Let's hope it's a good shift.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

I hope you are correct, John! Trade agreements like NAFTA really hurt America's manufacturing. It would be nice to see us return to those days.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2020:

Thank you Rosina! I think we are going to see a massive shift in the labor market. It should be interesting at the very least.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 18, 2020:

Hi Bill.

Like you, I wonder whatever happened to the ethos of working hard and to the best of your ability. With me, it's a matter of pride. I cannot bring myself to do a mediocre job no matter how menial the task.

At my last job, the staff knew me as a hard worker who got the job done no matter what. Management saw me as a loose cannon with a tendency to flout the rules. (I can't argue that point. If the rules got in the way of my doing a good job, then the rules needed to go.)

My husband is seen at the go-to guy for any problems that arise even if it doesn't fall within his jurisdiction. He's at the base for 30+ years in a few different career fields and knows the regs inside out. Even the commanders know better than to go against his recommendations. (The few who have paid the price.) He rarely takes days off sick. His most recent one was about 7/8 years ago when he had food poisoning.

Our kids have adopted our work ethic and don't blow off work unless they are truly ill. My oldest is the exception because of migraines that occasionally break through despite her meds.

The point of this ramble is perhaps the current generation doesn't have a work ethic like previous generations because it's a whole new ballgame now what with technology. It's easy to blow off work when you feel a trained monkey could do your job. It's hard to get invested when you feel your contribution doesn't matter.

I enjoy these porch-front chats, Bill. May they continue.

Have a great day.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 17, 2020:

The work ethic isn't the same in some places as it once was. The pandemic is an additional problem. The effect of the coronavirus on the jobs that are available in the near future is worrying.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 17, 2020:

We'll never go back to the "work hard" days. Not because of any societal flaws (though there are many). The world is so, so different from the days of our parents. Governments and business grossly underestimated the impact of automation, exponentially expanded communication, and increased longevity. This pandemic has just exposed how unprepared we really are.

But it's been said there are always opportunities for change in crisis. Let's hope that's true.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 17, 2020:

You’re saying people have lost the ethic and value for work. Once you don’t have an income from work (and need it because the wolf is at the door) one won’t mind scrubbing toilets, sweeping floors, picking vegetables in the hot sun or anything else that used to be objectionable. We need to learn a number of lessons from all of this. Right before the pandemic struck I had a number of contractors giving me quotes for a large home project and several could not come through with quotes or show up reliably for appointments. In April these same people were begging for work. However by then impressions had been set. Always be the best at whatever job you’re doing.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 17, 2020:

It was pretty rare when my dad or mom called in sick. They had to be on death's door (almost) for it to happen. I remember one time we all had a pretty bad case of the flu. Mom had been nursing us all (dad included) and she was exhausted. We were all in the doctor's waiting room and there were so many people there that all the chairs were taken so mom stood. After about half an hour the exhaustion took its tole and mom fainted. I never got in so fast to see a doctor before. We joked for years that if mom would just faint for us, the line would move much faster.

Blessings,

Denise

Ann Carr from SW England on June 17, 2020:

Great family story. They worked hard because they were good people and that's what they did. Selfless and loving by the sounds of it (I know that's true from more that you've told us!).

It gives us a warm feeling to read about people like your parents. I have known, and known of, people in my family like that. Those are ethics that were passed down to me. Ok I had an easy ride when I was young but I was lucky. It could've been a lot worse. Both my parents worked and Dad worked his way up from almost nothing, to be a well-respected and loved man. My Mum supported him all the way.

Thanks for that wonderful message and for letting us into your family history, bill.

Enjoy the rest of your week! Keep safe and well!

Ann

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 17, 2020:

That is a great look back, Bill. You also had one other advantage, you were born MALE! It is a documented fact that teachers made low salaries for years because most of them were female after WWII. Lord knows females don’t deserve a good salary, thank you Saint Paul. Pardon my cynicism, but I was a victim to that until I got a state government job and finished college.

My parents instilled a work-‘til-you-drop ethic in me. I had this ethic even when I had not finished my degree was working low-paying “female” jobs.

One day I came to work sick when I was working as a copywriter for a small-town radio station with no sick leave. The manager caught me and sent me home, but he made me promise to go to the doctor. The doctor diagnosed me with strep throat. I missed three days’ work, my first ever. The manager said he sent me home because he recognized that I had strep and convinced the owner to pay me for the days I missed.

In the 30 years I spent as a legal editor for the state, I saw many changes as the generations of workers changed. As you described, I saw a real lax in the work ethics of young workers who came in starting, in our case, in the late 1990s. I just wonder who failed to teach them responsibility.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 17, 2020:

Bill, I wonder if the work ethic has changed because the type of work has changed? It used to be that one could work for a day and see the product of their labor. Now, so many people spend their day sitting in front of a monitor, day after day, with no visible benefit. I don't mean to be making excuses, but I know that I personally have a greater sense of satisfaction in weeding a flowerbed or cooking a meal than I did in spending 8 hours a day as a budget analyst.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on June 17, 2020:

The work ethic seems to have passed a generation. My youngest son is working his way through college. He is on his Bachelors now. He is working for a restaurant in the kitchen. His boss has him scheduled to work with some useless teens, with orders to either make them work harder and be worth their pay, or make them quit. Right now, they aren't even worth the paperwork to fire them.

He is good with that, because they watched him working while they stood back and talked or texted. He injured his rotator cuff trying to do something that they should have been helping him with. He was off work for a week, and light duty for a week. He is still trying to recover financially from that. They will work or quit. At least, this place didn't fire him when he tore muscle or overstrained them, like the last place he worked. He uses his muscles a lot and they are well formed, but too much is too much.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2020:

Bill, our porch was something like that when we were growing up. Our neighbors would sit with us and we talked about many things. That was what built our community. Today, those porches' conversations no longer take place. We now have fences to stop that. The values have changed and the differences have been magnified. Thus, this present crisis. I'm glad you're reminding us of these values.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 17, 2020:

Louise, I am ecstatic if my article provided you with a lift when you needed it. Blessings to you during a difficult time. I'm with you in spirit.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 17, 2020:

Fascinating reminiscences and thoughts about how much society and the work ethic has changed. Another phrase that springs to mind is the question 'Do you work to live or live to work?'

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 17, 2020:

This is lookbackatmylifearticle. As many know, I was the last of 12 children to be born on a water melon farm in Indiana. I didn't know my father, my mother left him when I was two, and he was killed by a fallen tree on the farm when I was eight. I remember my mother working at any job available. I guess we were considered poor. If it were not for my sisters, I wouldn't have finished school and gone into nursing. I have much to be thankful for. I have always treasured a job, I get that from my mother. I am lucky to have Grandchildren who went to collage. My Granddaughter Lisa is an RN, my Grandson Chad works for the government building roads, etc. on the computer. To my way of thinking, you receive back what you give, by that I mean if you do a good job, you will be given the opportunity to do well. So many of the younger generation do not have that work ethic. Maybe it's the time we live in. ( uncertainty ) Thanks for sharing.

manatita44 from london on June 17, 2020:

I'll have a 'bloody Mary' or an Irish pochine. Is that how you spell it? Or maybe I'll have a 'mountain dew.' (Caribbean equivalent of the pochine) Lol.

You ask some serious questions. Yes, work ethic was awesome back in my day, and so far I have done 52 years of it. Evolution is fast-tracked, like a Mc Donald's or extra Gigabyte speed. The problem is complex like you have indicated and not straight-forward.

Life is full of motivators, life-coaches and inspirators and they do help us some. Yet they feed the mind more and that's not lasting. We need to feed the Heart. Many also believe, but this is not enough.

"Vanity of vanity", said the Great Christian Seer, Thomas A Kempis. "I would rather feel contrition in my Heart, than to speak of it."

St Paul is even better: "Faith without works is dead." Your father lead the way all his life and we too, must lead. No quick microwave, but fireside food ... a great barbecue. Lol.

Actually, I was taught morals and ethics in school. We need a bit of Confucius or Socrates, even Lao Tze. Not necessarily hard core but we need a sense of morals for children, which is missing.

Communists know we have to start with children and so we start in the homes, in the schools and with good visionary governments. Then we will start seeing a change in 10 -15 years. We can always send kids to monasteries in their school holidays. These are desperate times. Lol. Actually, I did not say that last one.

Now I have mentioned the motivators lately. They do help, but they tell us that we are strong, we can do it, etc. They tell us how to make more money and the rules for success. This ultimately lead to all the rich ones you see on the net.

We need folks to tell us about prayer and spiritual practices ... that we are souls and without feeding the soul, we will keep on getting various maladies. Alas! this is not so popular. Who wants to practice prayer, self-giving, love, gratitude and so forth? Peace, Bro.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 17, 2020:

Real cool dude. I cannot remember a single word about a hard day of work from my parents. Never thought about it.

Thanks for the memories.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 17, 2020:

This is such a good article that I relate to as I started working at 16 for $1 an hour in a department store. I never quesioned whether or not to work. I think there are probably many reasons for the changes in the attitudes of many young people.

I have 3 grandchildren that have their education and very good jobs. I am grateful. One of them was living on the street part of the time for almost a year. Then, he joined the Navy which totally straightened him out. Now is is just completing his college degree and already has a job offer.

I am very concerned about our country and the way things are going. I hope it will improve for everyone Your article sure made me think about alll the changes in our lives, Bill.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on June 17, 2020:

Bill, this was an engaging read as always. Maybe, if there is any good to come from this world-wide pandemic it may be that our countries return to manufacturing many necessary commodities on home soil instead of relying on buying them from overseas. This may hopefully create new manufacturing businesses and ultimately more jobs for our people.

Rosina S Khan on June 17, 2020:

I agree Bill a job is sacred and gives stability to life and family. Hopefully, people around the globe can find job opportunities because nowadays there is online work also available and they might as well start from there in the pandemic season.

Louise Elcross from Preston on June 17, 2020:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories. This was a really lovely read and I shed a tear when I read 'never give up!' Powerful words that had a positive impact on me today just when I needed it. Thank you