Whatever You Are, Be a Good One


“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

Growing up, there was one phrase heard in our household more than any other, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” Whether we were taking out the trash, picking rocks in the garden, or sweeping the floor, my parents expected us to do everything right the first time.

It was a lesson we sometimes missed. When we did, my parents had an interesting way of teaching us to do better.

For example, we took turns clearing the table after dinner. If my parents checked and the table was still dirty, we had to wash it five more times. If we repeated our mistake the next time, we would have to wash the table ten times. There was an inspection between every one of those ten cleanings.

Let me tell you, washing the table ten times when you want to go watch your favorite TV show is no fun.



Character and Integrity

As frustrating as those lessons were, my parents instilled in our character the desire to do things right the first time. Now, no matter what job we have, we work with integrity and always do our best.

Those childhood lessons are why I’m so connected to this quote by Abraham Lincoln. We can’t all be brain surgeons or rocket scientists, but our contribution to society can be just as valuable.

I’ve had dozens of jobs over the years, everything from paperboy and janitor to business owner. Yet, I have treated each job as if it were my business, whether I was making minimum wage or thousands of dollars a week.

If you have a job to do, do it right. Try your best and your efforts will come back to you. Quality work gets noticed and often rewarded. We admire people who care about the quality of what they do.

You will never regret your efforts to try to be a person of value. So whatever it is you are, make sure you are a good one.


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Before you go, here’s an uplifting poem you’ll enjoy.


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