Work Ethic: Greatest Gift

A garden can not only be a mental health clinic and money saver but the vehicle by which parents can plant the seed of the greatest gift of all: the work ethic. The essence of the work ethic is a willingness and enjoyment of solving time-wasting problems independent of what one is being paid. When one has the work ethic, one has the happiness and pride of having fewer stressful time-wasting problems. When you give a child the work ethic you give them the keys to freedom, independence and happiness.

  1. Happiness is the primary reward for being a problem-solving worker. When one solves a real problem, one has a sense of satisfaction and affirmation.
    1. Justified happiness can be quantified in the time created and the rate of creation.
      1. Solving a problem that wastes two hours of time warrants twice the happiness of solving a one-hour problem.
      2. Solving a problem in half the average time warrants happiness.
      3. One's productivity can be measured in the time one takes to solve a time-wasting problem.
      4. While one's productivity as a problem-solving worker might not appreciated by others, the true problem-solver has a sense of his relative and absolute worth, e.g., the intelligent slave bad-mouth by a dumb master.
    2. Profits can be absolutely quantified by comparing the solving-time and the wasting-time of a problem. "Profit" comes from Latin (pro esse) for "forward existence" which occurs when one solves a time-wasting problem.
    3. Justified happiness is only justified when one solves a real time-wasting problem and not a false "problem." Real and false problems echo the human cost of humanity to Mother Nature, that is, the cost of living versus the cost of lying.
      1. The former is the time needed to acquire the necessities of life to live. The latter is the time spent or wasted on how we lie to ourselves about our emotional wants being more important than our life necessities. Our closets, basements, attics and garages are full of our past "must have" wants for which we are often working jobs that we hate in order to pay for our self-lies.
      2. Too often and repeatedly, individuals and nations have emphasized wants over needs therefrom they have lived beyond their means wasting time on wants while necessities disappeared into the dustbin of inflation, riots and wars. It is simple math. If we spend time playing it is time we are not working. If a nation needs an average of two hours per capita for the cost of living but politicians pass laws increasing playtime that reduces worktime below two hours, all hell will break out, e.g., the existential meltdown. When politicians make good policies then we the polity in the polis will be polite without police.
  2. Pride is justified only when one solves a real problem as inherent in the word's Latin origin, pro esse, which is also the origin of profit! One has false pride if one is happy after solving a false problem, e.g., playing better than other people.
  3. Players:
    1. The work ethic does not exist among those whose income comes from non-work false problems, e.g., habitual players aka full-time athletes. Any pride is false pride.
    2. Players have and cause losses in the currency that matter--the quality of our current time. The do not profits regardless of their million-dollar contracts which are examples of the economists and politicians divorcing worth from wealth and divorcing symbols from substance of work.
    3. Because players do not understand work, one realizes that the money-seeking players' "ticket out the ghetto" is really a round-trip ticket based on plethora of down-on-their-luck, has-beens in the day labor pools.
    4. With an understanding of the difference between work and play, on realizes that mass communications, the media, is dumbing and distracting us to death rather than educating and entertaining us to live.
  4. For a good worker, money is secondary. A good worker knows that if his employer does not reward good problem-solving that finding an appreciative boss is easier if one is a good employee imbued with the work ethic.
  5. Parents who confuse work/play end up with kids who do not work and do not appreciate parents. Any parent who thinks the do not need to teach the work ethic should expect to have boomerang children that return to the nest because the kids don't have the work ethic to compete in a more demanding work. Also, the parents should expect their retirement to be less (if not totally eliminated) by a widespread parental mentality of "I don't expect my kids to take care of me." If you teach your kids not to take care of you, who are they going to take care of? Other parents? Who is going to take care of you? The children of other parents who taught the kids not to take care of parents? Parents without the work ethic fail to appreciate the expensive cost of not saying "No." Whatever time it takes to enforce a "No" on a youngster is nothing compared to the time losses when teenager or adult cannot say No to wrongful ways, e.g., poverty, unemployment and jail.
  6. Acupuncture morality is concomitant with the one's work ethic. By being an automatic problem-solver on-and-off the job, one acquires a growing range of problem-solving skills and awareness. This diversity bears fruit by one being able to solve a problem in a different area using the paradigm of another area. This is how acupuncture works--a needle here cures an ill there.
  7. College: Education or Job-training. Increasing advanced education is being advertised as a meat-only meal, that is, go to college for money-chasing job training without any liberal arts. One cannot have happiness if one is narrow-minded from narrow training. Quite simply, one will not be able to interact meaningfully with the diversity of people on an off the job. One's unhappiness will magnify itself.

If you teach self-esteem, you affirm a person for the moment.
If you teach the work ethic, you affirm a person for a life

Personal Note

At the age of eight I was required to plant, harvest and can a 2,000 sq. ft. garden as part of a living arrangement. Also, I earned money by shining shoes 40 to 50 hours per week. The time I spent without earphones planning, preparing and harvesting the garden gave me a step-up on my peers who parents shuttled the peers from one venue of play to another field of play. They not only wanted to continue to play after high school but they sweated the small shat because they found small problems to be stumbling blocks. Sadly, many of these parents with the post-war affluence wanted to re-live their lives by structuring their kids' lives around play rather than work. Like a garden, what we sow in the minds of the next generation is what we will reap in multiples.

As a problem-solving work ethicist, I find it amazing that both parents and kids do not get it. It is amazing how many people think that they are working because they hate their jobs for which they think they deserve more dollars. In truth, they are playaholics suffering withdrawal symptoms on the job from mental addiction to play. In lacking the work ethic, they find no joy in solving real problems. For playaholics suffering from the play pathos, they are proverbial pots that never boil because they spend more time watching the clock than solving problems.

Due to a fortunate meeting, my early life work ethic was buttressed and elevated by meeting a person who by explanation and example prompted me to go to college for an education to answer the question, "What is the meaning of life?" As he taught and showed, answering this question is the key to a meaningful life in which one can relate to more of humanity than the person who goes for money-seeking job-training.

If you want your kids to take better care themselves (and you when you cannot take care of yourself), teach them the work ethic in the only way possible by starting them to work early in small meaningful ways. A garden is a great place to not only work together but to set tasks of solitude with specific goals, e.g., weed the carrots. And, do not let them have any distracting music or earphones. Gardening is a time to get to know yourself better. If you half-arse gardens and half-wit offsprings, encourage them to play and self-distract.

Summary/Dichotomy Table
Work Ethic Play Pathos
Solve problems Igknow or cause problems
Save/Create Time Waste Time
Cost of living Cost of lying
Pride False Pride
Profits Losses
Worker Player
Entertainment Distraction
Education Dumbness
Knowledge Igknowance
Wisdom Techniques
Nutrients Soma
Needs Wants
Video morality Kodak Moment morality
Substance Symbols
Creative Cancer

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