April 02, 2014

Work Ethic

Work Ethic 
By John R. Greenwood

Work Ethic 
a belief in the moral benefit and importance of work and it’s inherent ability to strengthen character. 
origin 1950-1955 

Brian Vogel
I spent the night shift riding in a gas tanker with a man who defines the term work ethic. In fact, I am surrounded by people burgeoning with it. In my decades of employment I've felt a moral obligation to not just practice it, but to place it on a pedestal and worship it. I also feel a need to salute those who’ve spent their lives practicing it without the realization that what they were doing was anything special. To me, it’s as special as stardom or celebrity. Work ethic created the "American Dream" we all strive for. Is not the journey in search of the "American Dream" the actual product? How would we know if it was something more or less? Isn’t possessing the freedom to work at whatever endeavor we desire the actual dream? Some of us realize that dream in various levels and stages, but to be a man behind bars, sealed in a cage of worklessness, is to me the antidream. Simply having choices is enough for me. What I do for work may be influenced by need or want, but ultimately I am the decider. I get to stand or sit, walk or run. If I am successful, I am the beneficiary of the amount of effort. I can also take immense pleasure in the knowledge that success is based on 'my' interpretation not yours. Regardless of public opinion you are as successful as you choose to be. You may install cellulose projectatrons and solar diffractionites in radon based incepticals at projectile speed and be a giant among others of less capabilities, but if you’re not happy doing it, work ethic has no meaning.  

I take pride in saying I have a good work ethic but if in reality I am a slacker and a slouch I will probably find my monetary rewards drastically reduced. It doesn’t mean I can’t still be happy. You see, it’s my decision to be happy. The truth is, success is usually directly proportionate to the degree of work ethic. Success is defined on a sliding scale. For example, I’m pretty happy with my life. I could take a dirt nap tomorrow and say I had a real good run. I’m 58 and have never even been to Florida or been up in an airplane, but I’m still happy. I hit a $600 Take Five Quick Pick twice in 2013, did you? I’m pretty lucky right? I don’t whine because it wasn’t a Mega Million Jackpot, I revel in the proportional moment. The same is true with work ethic. I am glad to possess the ability to work. I feel it has given me a moral benefit, and that it has strengthened my character. I am also proud to know hundreds of people that feel just like I do. I am truly blessed to have many of those people working at my side every day. To my friend the gas driver, I thank you for your effort. To my friends across this country who get up everyday and put their best foot forward walking out the back door in search of the American Dream, I thank you for doing what you do. Whether it’s the night shift, day shift, or swing shift it has it’s rewards. All you have to do is realize them today and then do it again tomorrow. 

Yours truly,

The nine-fingered milkman 
John R. Greenwood   


  1. Brian is good people!

    Great stuff, John.

  2. John -- Sounds like you are a worker that most employers would be proud to have you on their team --- barbara

  3. There's a certain amount of satisfaction in a job well done. Coming home and knowing you gave it your all today. Not needing to boast. Nor the need for recognition. Knowing you did it all for the ones that surround you at that dinner table is comfort enough. And tomorrow, you can't wait to do it all over again.
    I agree. The journey itself is the american dream.