One of my youngest daughter’s favorite books is Duck for President by Doreen Cronin. It is an incredibly clever book that takes children through the ups and downs of having responsibilities. While I am the first to admit that the anthropomorphism of a Duck being President is a bit far-fetched, the silliness of the concept holds the attention of the young readers.
The book begins by talking about the hard work that it takes to run a farm. Duck is tired of doing chores and organizes an election to oust Farmer Brown from his “management” position on the farm with Duck taking his place.
Duck soon finds out that Farmer Brown’s job is actually harder than doing chores as an animal on the farm. So, he decides to leave the farm entirely and become a politician. After winning the election for Governor, Duck discovers that his new job also requires work and decides to move on and run for President. The cycle again repeats itself and Duck continues to abandon his responsibilities in search of “another job”…
I always shake my head when Karyn reads the book to me. Duck is lazy…Duck is searching for a job that does not require any work…Duck is selfish and is neither a team player nor a community builder.
As a parent, teaching my children to be active contributors and to learn to work hard is at the top of my priority list. I believe that work ethic is a vital part of both personal and community success.
As a cattle farmer, work ethic is what drives me. It is what gets me out of bed and to the feed yard by 6:00am every single day. It determines the success of my animal care—it determines the quality of the beef that my animals produce—it determines the sustainability of my farm.
Work ethic is the core component of greatness. It is what allows an average person like me to manage a feed yard, raise three children, maintain a blog, and support my community in various volunteer positions. Of all of the things that I have continually developed as an adult, my work ethic is the one that I am most proud of.
It is what keeps me going when my body and my brain are so tired that I begin to doubt that I can do as many things tomorrow as I did today…
It is in giving of ourselves that we receive.
As we move forward as a country over the next several months, I hope that everyone will give great thought to what their role is as an American. We are all different—different talents, different dreams, and different opinions. Combining those differences with a good work ethic and a desire to work together will ensure the prosperity that our country so rightly deserves.
We are not all meant to be farmers. We are not all meant to be President. But, we are all meant to be fellow countrymen—and with that carries both a privilege and a duty.