diamond-studded overalls.

During my last semester at Spelman (that statement made me sound so old), I took a class about the construction of “The South” in America. In the midst of my research, I found a distinct and valuable pride in African Americans. We were given some of the most “demeaning”, labor-intensive jobs and we still did them with a sense of pride. Even more so, we worked ten times harder to hold down our own households. We wanted to pay for our kids’ schooling, invest in their spirituality, and make time for them. I think of my grandfather who worked until he was in his sixties- giving his everything. Until this day, he takes pride in everything he does. He gives his all.

It may sound stupid to you, but I see value in a strong work ethic. After all, when God created Adam, he put my man straight to work. He was given a job to overlook the land and make it prosperous. I always hear old folks talking about how “kids these days” are lazy. I hear about how we do not know about “hard work”. While some of that is true, they do not understand what kind of society this is for us.

As youth, we are saturated with celebrities and socialites who do absolutely NOTHING and have all of the wealth in the world. These same wealthy people are more attainable to us now more than ever. Because we can talk to them via Twitter and Instagram, we see how “easily” we could be in their shoes. (Outside of my college atmosphere) The only time I hear about “grinding” these days is in reference to sports and the music industry. That’s a shame.

Your work ethic is a reflection of you. At the end of the day, your name is all you have. Whether you are working in finance, the arts, burger king, or domestic services, GRIND. People will notice that you are always on time. People will notice that you’re a professional. People will notice that you give all you have. Honestly, they may not notice. You should work hard for your own satisfaction. Then again, you never know who is watching and who will vouch for you when the opportunity approaches. If you’re dismissive of your job because you do not think it’s “big” enough, then you lack imagination. Huge fruit can sprout from the meekest seeds. 


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