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Be well, do good work, and keep in touch

Maybe it takes my Midwestern roots being raised in Wisconsin just across the Mississippi from the Lutherans in Minnesota to have a fondness for Garrison Keillor and what he stands for.

Garrison’s got a good one in an article in Salon on the value of hard work that our parents instilled in us.

…Work is a blessing. There is enough passivity and mediocrity in the world without us adding to it. Work, for the night is coming; pull your weight, do your job.

The good people I come from were graduates of the College of the Crash, class of 1929. They valued hard work and persistence. They enjoyed their coffee breaks, not the $3.50 kind with froth and a shot of caramel, which would be sort of spendy for them, but the kind where the waitress brings around the glass carafe and says, ‘Let me warm that up for you.’ It was the work around the break that gave the break its sweetness, not the coffee.

Of course one rebelled against this. You saw your dad collapse in his chair after supper and fall asleep reading the paper, and be awakened by your mother to go to bed, and you said to yourself, ‘My life will be different. I will think, I will read books.’……

So you read books and thought big thoughts and sought a different life, and you achieved it, if you did, by virtue of the very qualities you rebelled against that your dad instilled in you. He may not have hugged you or encouraged your fantasy life, but he taught you to buckle down and attend to business and to thrive on it. It was this persistence that enabled you to become the self-absorbed romantic you are today. And now here you are in your pre-geriatric years, drinking $3.50 coffee and worrying about how to bring up your children.

Need more on the wisdom we exchange between parent and child? Check out Dave Winer’s ‘Teach Your Children‘ post with Graham Nash’s lyrics.

As Garrison ends his daily notes, ‘Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.’

Source of post: Rebecca Blood’s Rebecca’s Pocket

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