Work Like a Dog


Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Every year when summer rolls around, I think back to my days working on my family’s tobacco farm. Starting from the time that I was about 8 years old, farming was a way of life — it was a part-time job during the school year and a full-time job during summer break.

There were certainly some days that felt harder than others, and admittedly, I would have much rather played with my friends or done “kid” things, but I learned a lot from my time working on the family farm. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything — all of those hard days shaped me into who I am today. I learned what it means to get your hands dirty and work until you just can’t work anymore. From sunrise to sunset, we would bust our butts, and it didn’t matter if it was raining or so hot and humid that we felt like we were burning up. It was my responsibility, and it needed to be done, no matter what. We worked six days a week and took a break every Sunday to go to church. Needless to say, I loved Sundays!

In today’s world, dare I say that I think kids play way too many video games and spend way too much time indoors, on the couch, and on their phones? I was outside all day long almost every day, and while I may have missed out on some important carefree playtime, I gained much more than I lacked. I learned responsibility, the importance of time management, and the value of a dollar. I bonded with my dad, learned so much about nature and our surrounding world, and adopted an insane work ethic. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m now a workaholic — I think it all stems from this foundation.

While my kids were growing up, I didn’t have them working on a farm or doing any tough manual labor, but I made sure they had a job every summer. It builds character, teaches some important life lessons, and gives them a solid preview of the working world. It sets them up for success in their future careers. The rule in our house was if you want a car, you need a job. It didn’t matter what their paychecks were — it was the value behind the job that prepared them to enter our professional world.

As we cruise through summer and celebrate our nation’s birthday, I wish you all a happy and safe Fourth of July. We truly live in the best country in the world (some people lose their lives trying to come here to find work and build a family), and it’s a blessing to be in the U.S., the land of opportunity. God bless America!

- Randy Bunn