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Tag Archives: work ethic

Half Ass, Half Hearted or All In?

I started working more than 30 years ago. From the very beginning, there was a sense of competition, striving to do your very best each and every day, hoping to receive recognition. Regardless of the backgrounds of my former co-workers, each possessed a conscientious spirit, a desire for promotion and integrity. To move up in a company, you had to step up your game, arriving early, staying late and putting your whole heart into work.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied., Proverbs 13:4.

More than 3 decades later, I have seen work ethic slowly decline. While teaching high school for 10 years, I began to notice apathy settle in. This lack of zeal for greatness began to influence discipline, focus and study habits. Apparently, this mindset has carried over into the workplace. If you had to separate the masses into three groups, most would fit into one of three categories: half-ass, half-hearted or all in.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth,” Revelation 3:15-16.

The Bible refers to individuals who are neither hot or cold as lukewarm. One of Jesus’ disciples has a vision of heaven, writing down what he heard and saw. Based upon the passage above, God despises people who are on again and off again. The Lord desires commitment, not dangling on both sides of a fence. Sure, the easy thing to do is take the easy route, pick and choose the quickest path which makes you look better than others. Yet, God only has one acceptable response, all in, Matthew 16:24-25.

by Jay Mankus

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When Things Don’t Add Up

Parents who have grown up in the same area or town where their children attend school develop perspective.  Depending upon their memory, adults can compare their education with the current system.  Taking time to read modern textbooks may shock some, yet the informed aren’t surprised.  The dumbing down of information attempts to sway young minds full of mush to buy into the liberal agenda being dished out daily.  However, when things don’t add up like recently implemented Common Core curriculum, even public school teachers are waking up to this debauchery of education.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. – Ephesians 5:3

Back in my day, several teachers were like personal trainers, pushing you beyond what you could handle.  A few were like drill sergeants, mean S.O.B.’s until you graduated, when you saw the logic behind their madness.  These adults instilled in me a discipline, life skills and a work ethic I have exchanged for monthly pay checks.  Although, I wish it was larger, being challenged has made me a better person.  I only wish my children could escape the coddling that exists today for a taste of what I endured in school.  Nonetheless, when things don’t add up, a parent must intervene to steer their kids in the right direction.

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:4

Whether you are watching a commercial, public service announcement or some new television show, it doesn’t take long to notice flaws.  Though the world view you possess may alter or blind you in same ways, consciences scream out the truth, pointing you in the way you should go.  However, if you begin to buy into the lies sold daily, your logic may not begin to add up.  This is where rationalization takes over, trying to justify your error in judgment with thoughts like “everybody does it.”  As you make your way through life, don’t forget to stop and think about the choices you are making.  Or else you may wake up one morning to a soul that doesn’t add up to the will God wanted for your life, Romans 12:2.

by Jay Mankus

 

You’ve Got To Bring It!

Survival of the fittest was coined by British philosopher Hebert Spencer after reading On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.  In reality, this term is an alternative way of saying natural selection.  However, from a modern translation, in order to survive and rise above others to become the cream of the crop, you’ve got to bring it every day.  Whether you are an administrator, athlete, blue collar worker or a student with great expectations, you can’t take a class, day or play off.

As a former professional athlete and high school coach, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize if someone is dogging it.  Just take of peek to observe students walking down the hall to use the restroom.  Those walking slower than a senior citizen are stalling, wasting as much time as humanly possible.  On the other hand, the highly motivated are back in a flash, hoping they didn’t miss anything important.  If this pattern of complacency, laziness and minimal effort continues, these individuals will not succeed, put to shame and overshadowed by the overachievers in life.

The Bible was well ahead of its time, introducing a similar concept to the world by the end of the first century.  Jesus talked about striving for perfection during his sermon on the mount, encouraging the crowd to put their heart and soul into every aspect of life, even those people you despise or hate, Matthew 5:43-48.  As an avid sports fan of track and field, the apostle Paul addresses two sides to this topic.  From a mental approach, Paul focuses on the concentration necessary to acquire the proper attitude as you compete in life, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  Then, from a moral stand point, Paul adds work ethic with a devotion for your creator in Colossians 3:17, 23.  When you put these three passages together, the message is quite clear, “you’ve got to bring it!”

by Jay Mankus

A Caddy’s Life

Having the 2013 United States Open Golf Championship come to Merion, about a 45 minute drive from my current home, brings back fond memories of caddying.  In addition, watching an American Dream, a golf channel special of the life of Lee Trevino, also led me to reflect upon the days I spent working at golf courses.  Nearly one forth of my summers have been invested in caddying in 4 different states and 2 countries.

It all began for me in Chester County, encouraged by a high school friend to introduce myself to the Caddy Master at Concord Country Club in Pennsylvania.  My initial goal was to supplement my grass cutting income.  However, before I knew it, I was working 3-4 days a week, making between $90 and $150 per week each summer.  I still recall receiving my first $100 bill following a member guest, caddying for the Vice-President of Dupont.

From here, I spent 5 seasons at Chagrin Valley Country Club, 45 minutes from downtown Cleveland, Ohio.  Depending upon the weather, I worked anywhere from 2 days a week to six.  Because of the large membership, double looping, going out once in the morning and afternoon was typical, occurring 2-3 times a week.  With Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom 15 minutes from my parent’s home, I spent nearly every day on a golf course  and most nights at this park.  A college student could not paint a better picture of fun, sun and muney.

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From a life perspective, my manners, people skills and respect for other human beings come from my days as a caddy.  Despite my feelings for the member or guest I was paired with, I was taught to work hard, go the extra mile and keep my mouth shut.  This blue collar position instilled in me a work ethic that I still possess as I start a new career with Amazon.  My prayer is that I will be able to call upon my past experiences so that the prosperity I enjoyed in college will return in the near future.  Before I say goodbye for day, I want to leave you with a parity of the James Taylor’s song Fire and Rain.

A Caddy’s Life

I’ve seen hacks and I’ve seen pain
I’ve seen rainy days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen awful rounds when I could not earn a tip
But I always long to see my pay check

I’ve seen stiffs and I’ve seen fame
I’ve seen bad holes I thought would never come to an end
I’ve seen slow play that would make a snail look good
But I always longed to see that last green

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
I need your strength to go one more nine
My body can’t stand on its own right now
My knees are aching and my head is on fire
Please send me your Spirit to complete this last nine.

by Jay Mankus

Go a Little Further

When I was growing up, it wasn’t cool to be smart or raise your hand to answer questions in class.  Students who strove to go a little further became labeled brown nosers and teacher’s pets.  As a high school teacher for 10 years, this mentality still exists, present in 90% of the classes I taught.  Unfortunately, this negative peer pressure steers some individuals away from over-achieving, leaving it behind for fame, popularity and social status.  The end result of this cultural phenomena is a society which does just enough to get by.

In the book of Genesis, there is a boy who fits the brown noser, teacher’s pet stereotype.  However, this boy refused to lower his personal standards.  Instead, Joseph went above and beyond the expectations of others.  Although, his brothers wanted to kill him, despite being sold into slavery and falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Joseph went a little further, Genesis 39:21-23.  Inspired by God, Joseph’s work ethic led him to run an estate, prison and eventually the nation of Egypt, Genesis 41:29-30.

During his sermon on the mount, Jesus took this concept one step further in Matthew 5:41-42.  When you go the extra mile, you exceed and surpass what a typically person would do.  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, Jesus demonstrates what going a little further resembles: a model of care, compassion and consideration.  Furthermore, Matthew 25:35-36 breaks down what an individual can specifically do.  Finally, the apostle Paul encloses a prayer within Colossians 3:17, 3:23 to remind Christians of their motivation for going a little further.  Pay it forward today!

by Jay Mankus

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