We traveled out of town this weekend because I had a wedding to shoot. We headed out Saturday morning and came back Sunday afternoon. We needed to stay in a hotel Saturday night so we decided to make a mini vacation moment out of it for our boys. The first hotel that was originally booked was awful. Absolutely awful. There was trash outside in the parking lot, black mold in the bathroom and a bottle of toxic cleaner in the room, on the floor by the bed. Can you guess who found it? Yep, my 2 year old. Needless to say, we checked out about 10 minutes after we got there, respectively requested a refund and found a new hotel. Praise the Lord our next stop was very nice and very well taken care of. As we were walking the halls to go to the pool Sunday morning I couldn’t help but think of how hard the staff at this hotel works.
In America, we are told you can be anything you want to be, that everyone can and should go to college and post-graduate school, make a ton of money and live the American dream. Did you know that this is statistically impossible? Everything falls on a curve with 50% falling above the mean (or the very middle) and 50% falling below. Of course there are extreme cases, but this is a general rule. And do you know what else? There is absolutely NOTHING that makes those falling above the mean any better than those falling below. Since when did degrees, salary and status qualify you as a better person? And why should we be telling our youth that they have to achieve such outrageous goals to be considered worthy or even happy?
If every one was a doctor, lawyer, computer programmer, teacher, etc who would clean the hotel rooms? Who would serve you in a restaurant? Who would cut your hair? Fix your transmission? Stay at home with babies and care for the elderly? Fight to preserve our freedom? This list could go on and on. Every single one of these non-degree careers is vital to making America the wonderful country that it is today. You know what doesn’t help our country succeed? An elitist attitude.
We noticed a huge difference in hotels less than a mile apart. The original stop was dirty and the staff was grouchy – we weren’t happy to be there and did everything we could to leave as soon as possible. Our next stop was clean, the staff was pleasant and we will gladly stay there again. Again, a change in attitude. It really does make a huge difference.
As we were getting our stuff together to leave, we talked with the boys about being sure to put all of their trash in the trash can, piling the towels up neatly because someone else has to clean that room and just because that is their job does not make it ok for us to leave a bigger mess than necessary for them. We found the staff in the hallway, told them thank you, let them know how much we appreciated the hard work they put forth so that we could have a comfortable stay while away from home. Their eyes lit up – I wonder how often they get told thank you for doing such a thankless job. Can you even imagine some of the messes they are cleaning up every day?
As we approach the 4th of July take some time to look around your town and think of all of the hard working people around you. Every single working, contributing member of our society helps to make this country the amazing nation we celebrate each year in July. Maybe they don’t look like you, maybe they didn’t go to school like you but they are valuable. Encourage your children to value the work of another’s hands, talk with them about the different types of jobs that are out there and how no matter which one you pick, you can make a positive difference.
As I watched those sweet ladies joyfully cleaning the rooms around us yesterday morning I couldn’t help but think of the shining example they were of Colossians 3:23-24 and how I want to have a better attitude about the work I do because of their shining example.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”