Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Working to Win

Working to Win
By Brenda Black

Towering teenagers quietly walked onto the basketball court a full hour before the national championship game. The long white pin stripe down the side of their black warm-up suits accentuated each players lean and lengthy stature. They moved through stretches and drills in unison, barely uttering a word. Solemn faces clarified the serious business ahead.

With admirable athleticism, these 15 to 18 year old boys demonstrated their preparedness for a man's high-speed game that would demand quick thinking, grit and grace. As they moved through their drills with fluid strides and accuracy, their coach stood calmly to the side, offering instruction. He watched with pleasure as the young gentlemen carried out his commands.

Their contenders arrived ten minutes before tip-off, scrambling into jerseys as they haphazardly took one end of the court and rushed through some individual warm-ups. They sauntered in as a pack, chattering and seemingly indifferent to their tardiness.

Each team was equally talented. All the players were remarkable athletes and good sports. Though evenly matched in ability, I found myself cheering for the team that honored the privilege of that moment. The game began a full fifteen minutes late thanks to the dawdling team as thousands of spectators fidgeted in their seats.

In the end, a mere couple of points transformed game faces into broad grins when the tall team in black took home the trophy, title and deserved respect from a crowd of cheering fans.

Some would contend the better team won. Others would vow that a little more time may have swayed the scoreboard the opposite direction. I believe it was justice plain and simple. The team that honored the committee, respected the audience and applied diligence, won the championship.

True winners are just as obvious in the workforce. As more and more folks face unemployment, the competition grows fierce for fewer paying positions. This summer, out-of-work managers may be filling out applications right next to the freckle-faced teen trying to hire on at the local convenience store or theme park. Who will the boss hire and on what will he base his criteria? I'd like to think that quality will count once again. I would hope that dependability and responsibility would be valued and justly compensated.

While so many scramble for their free handouts and think society owes it to them, there are those who admirably still demonstrate a strong work ethic. Some still strive to be creative and productive even when unexpected lay-offs and company closures push them out the door. Their regard for diligence has earned them the respect they deserve and I pray they will draw on that during these difficult times.

In this age of entitlement, true champions in the labor force stand out. They show up on time. They work hard. They listen to their superiors and cooperate with fellow employees. And they take the job seriously.

It's time to remember that what made our nation great were hard-working citizens, not bureaucracies and red tape. Dreams were built by undaunted drive, not a fairness policy. Homes and happiness were established by the hands of gifted craftsmen and pride. America's working class once again needs to see the benefits and satisfaction for a job well done rather than wait for charity. It's time to think outside the box, discover ways to survive and thrive by using our untapped talents instead of withering from laziness and indifference.

Whether we win or lose in this economic clash is based on how we respect the privilege of employment and how we apply ourselves to the game. Made in America needs to mean something again. May the Lord bless those who are willing to do their best and supply all their needs. They are the true champions who will make our country great again.

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