At a young age, I vividly recall announcing to my dad that I could never be a garbage man. He asked why, and I said the job was dirty, gross, and exhausting.
His eyes widened and he proceeded to laugh. I felt bewildered, since I didn’t find this observation funny.
He said that, as a kid, he worked from dusk ’til dawn, removing rocks from corn fields and loading hay. My dad thoroughly believed this experience transformed him into a hard-working man. His motto became: “Work every day, or the opportunity might not come tomorrow.”
When I was 16, my high school chemistry teacher presented me with a job opportunity to detassel corn. This meant rising at 5 a.m., trudging through corn fields, and plucking cornstalk tassels for 6 hours a day. The pay was great. The hours were short. It seemed simple enough.
That summer I learned what work ethic truly meant. While the hours were short, the days felt long. Dirt accumulated in all of my bodily crevices. Our crew walked miles at a time. Anytime I contemplated quitting, my dad’s words echoed in my head: Work hard now, because I may not have the opportunity later.
Today, I believe everyone should work a manual labor job at least once. It instills a sense of determination and perseverance -- characteristics that last for a lifetime. I’ll never look down upon manual laborers. Instead, when I meet one, I will hold my head high because I was one myself.
My name is Kaylar Recker, and this is my perspective.