In a recent address, Dieter Uchtdorf, ex Vice President Operations for Lufthansa, and now a prominent religious leader made the following statement: “I am deeply impressed by the way my family worked after having lost everything following World War II! I remember my father—a civil servant by education and experience—taking on several difficult jobs, among which were coal miner, uranium miner, mechanic, and truck driver. He left early in the morning and often returned late at night in order to support our family. My mother started a laundry and worked countless hours doing menial labor. She enlisted my sister and me in her business. . . It wasn’t easy, but the work kept us from dwelling too much on the difficulties of our circumstances. Although our situation didn’t change overnight, it did change. That’s the thing about work. If we simply keep at it—steady and constant—things certainly will improve.”
We live in a world of immediate gratification. If we need information, we can get it in a matter of seconds. If we want something badly, credit is available so that we do not have to pay for it immediately. And the list could go on. What is wrong with this picture is that society, as it is today, has created a sense of false expectations and false security. For instance, the concept of saving money for the rainy day has become an old, obsolete idea and people spend their money not thinking of their long term welfare but the mere satisfaction of their wants. The unfortunate reality, for them, is that when a recession comes, then troubles occur and people panic. The same can be said for many other things.
The reality is that there is no such thing as quick fix on anything. The key is working hard and expecting that ups and downs will occur. It is a natural law. We can’t change it. So we need to embrace it instead. The more effort we put into something we wish to obtain – a result, a goal, the dream of our life – the more certain will be to reach it.
Moreover, the joy is in the process. By keeping busy in a good way, not only we reach our goals and dreams, but we become better and better and gain others’ respect. It is called integrity. On the contrary, trying to “cheat” to find the easy way out, to gain immediate gratification without following the natural course of things, forces the individual to make mistakes that may be even fatal. And what for? A moment of intense pleasure or adrenaline rush that fades away almost immediately.
The old values of integrity, patience, longsuffering, hard work and so on can be condensed into what is my personal motto: never give up! Giving up, finding the easy way out, seeking for immediate gratification really is not living. But life is beautiful!