There Is A Price To Pay
When I was 17 years old, I left work one Friday only to realize that I had been double paid on my paycheck. Somehow, someone miscalculated my hours and paid me twice as much as they should have for the previous two weeks. So I did what most 17 year olds would do, I ran to the bank and cashed it before anyone found out.
I remember that weekend was torture for me. The questions of “what if I got caught,” “what if my manager got fired,” “what if I have to pay it all back” all ran through my mind, but the thought that haunted me the most? I had money in my pocket that wasn’t mine, it was some else’s and I hadn’t earned it. Looking back, I am so grateful that I was taught by my parents about character, integrity and the value of work. That Monday I returned the money.
To this day, I believe that America’s greatness comes from people working hard to fulfill their dreams. But for the last few decades, that greatness is being undermined by people using the government to solve their problems with money it has taken from the dreamers and doers through taxation. Rather than participate in the marketplace, generating goods and services that benefit society, people are increasingly vying for political advantage to live at the expense of others. This “something-for-nothing” mentality corrupts the political system, undermines corporate success, and stifles the individual’s ability to prosper and contribute long-term to society. While there will always be some that need to ride in the “wagon” (the young, elderly or sick), I find it very difficult to relate with those who should be pulling… but aren’t.
While we aren’t going to fix the “something for nothing” culture in America today, we can work to solve it in our own homes.
Our children must be taught about character and integrity, the value of work, and the joy of being self-reliant. Unfortunately, most people I meet today want the reward without the risk, the results without the work, the gain without the pain. They want to win the lottery without ever buying a ticket. They spend their entire life looking for the “easy button” in everything they do. It really is such a waste of dreams and talent and ultimately leads to a life half lived. In my own industry, I have seen many talented people lose their businesses and their reputation because they jumped from one opportunity to the next in hopes of finding something that they falsely believe would be easier, less work or faster.
Vince Lombardi once said: “the dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.”
There’s a price to pay… so pay it!