Today sure was thought-provoking.
Those outside the area of northeastern Kansas may not know that it is currently under attack by a relentless snowstorm. Somebody needs to call Mother Nature's maid because she seems to have missed a few dozen spots and this dust is everywhere. I'm talking 8-plus inches of the stuff, and it won't be letting up anytime soon.
I had to WORK in this nonsense. This meant that I had to get my skinny little butt out from beneath the feathery soft jumbo blanket of my more than irresistibly comfortable full-sized bed, change into my uniform that, as I am a security guard, isn't quite as flattering as I'd like, and step into temperatures upwards of ten degrees to dig out my car and drive to my employer.
It doesn't sound like a lot of work, does it? I'm only 5'8", 106 pounds and have 2% body fat. I'm perfectly built for the cold, right? Did I mention I had to do so with no ice scraper, no shovel, and no gloves? But hey, money is money, and I like to believe I'm a responsible person. Plus, I've brushed with death in colder weather, so, I feel like this challenge was acceptable. I even made it to work early.
However, it seems like I was only one of few with such a mentality. Two people called into work today under the guise of not being able to come in due to accumulated snow hindering their efforts. I laughed. Derisively. I have a coworker who is probably 75 years old, who is smaller than I and has to commute 30 miles boths ways (for a total of 60). He made it to work. If both he AND I can make it, I'm pretty sure anyone could have.
Superficiality aside, because of these events, I spent a bit of time today pondering what kind of generation I really grew up with. I've always felt myself an old soul, instilled with the values and wisdom of the ancient (read: my mother). Often being told I'm "wise beyond my years" and an "indigo child" didn't help, either. I reflected upon these ideas and came to the conclusion that the way I was raised attributed to my work ethic today.
As an only child growing up with a single mother, I always, always had to help around the house. Do the dishes, vacuum rooms, take out the trash, what have you. These chores were instilled into me through common practice until they became so second nature I'd find myself doing them out of boredom. This, of course, included helping my mother shovel the sidewalk, and, when we later moved to a house that had one, the driveway. This was routine every winter, and although I'd balk and gripe every year it, the fact was that it was an obligation, and I adhered to it.
I feel like this translated to life away from home, this being the perfect example. An obligation (work) had to be met, no questions asked, simply because it was my responsibility. And even though I bemoan the very idea of manual labor, I toughed it out and my paycheck is going to thank me. Whereas a couple of people (one of whom doesn't even live much farther away from the worksite than I) apparently found it too tedious.
Did I mention that old man drove a total of 60 miles?
I feel privileged to have grown up under such conditions, actually. I feel like those with siblings often get complacent. "Oh, someone else will take care of Chore X." "Oh, I bet I can bribe Sibling Y into doing Chore Z for me." Wheeling and dealing or outright overlooking daily duties, and whatnot. I often think about what would happen if I ignore some chores--sometimes I actually do, now that I have roommates, to see if anyone will do them without prompt. They often--but to their credit, not always--go ignored for so long that I end up doing it myself anyway. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who touches the vacuum cleaner.
But growing up, I did not have this luxury. If there is something that needed done, I did it myself, although through protests (as any child would), no questions asked. I feel like a lot of my peers could have benefited from the only-child lifestyle.
Also I didn't have to share anything and got practically whatever I wanted--that was nice. But at a cost, of course.
That isn't to say that all siblings behave this way, or that all only children are so motivated. Nor do I mean to call into question the way that people are raised. For the most part, I feel like I am acquainted with fairly well-rounded individuals. I just wonder, sometimes, if I'm one of the handful with a level head.
With that, I ask: When did this generation become so lackadaisical?