Call Me "Old School"
Though I don't 'feel' old, chronologically I may be pushing the boundaries of getting 'older'. Born October 13, 1965 I am categorized as a ‘tweener’. My generation came between the end of the Baby Boomers and the beginning of Generation X. I don’t quite fit into a specific generational philosophy however it seems that things that I grew up understanding as simple truths of character and integrity are now considered ‘Old School’ ethics.
I wasn’t part of the ‘Greatest Generation’ but I sure learned a lot from them (my parents and grandparents). You know, 'Old School' qualities like honoring your father and mother, respect your elders, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, ladies and children first (this includes opening doors and pulling out chairs), do unto others as you would have them do unto you, address adults (older than you) with Mr., Mrs., Sir or Mam, and that there are consequences for not following the rules (societies or your parents)!
Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems that we are now living in an era where the very principles that built the greatest country the world has ever known now seem to be lost? I’m dumbfounded by the ridiculousness of a culture that does the opposite of what the history of man has proven to be true since its existence. Some simple ‘Old School’ timeless truths, spiritual principles and Universal laws such as:
You sow first, and then you reap.
Nothing replaces time and good old-fashioned hard work…nothing!
Successful work ethic means, “The job ends when it’s done.” Not “being done at the end of your job.”
Competition is good…and absolutely necessary. (Only the strong survive)
Teachers and parents had the authority to teach a child right from wrong not the other way around.
Gym class was mandatory in school (physical activity was critical to health and well-being…still is!)
True success has no shortcuts, immediate gratification, and it’s not an entitlement…it is earned!
Commitment, sacrifice, perseverance, dedication, honor, integrity…these principles work. They’ve worked for those that have applied them for thousands of years over and over again. In Dr. Stephen Covey’s transcendent masterpiece, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’; he starts the whole book off with recognizing that in studying every written text on success over the past 200+ years of mankind the first 150 years focused on the importance of “character”. It has only been in the past 50 years or so that it has now shifted to “values”. In essence that you can ‘positively think’ your way to success if you know ‘the secret’. He lists seven principles that, if established as habits, will help a person achieve true interdependent "effectiveness". Covey argues this is achieved by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north"—principles of a character ethic that, unlike values, he believes to be universal and timeless. If you haven’t read it, please do.
Every day I wake up thinking about what more I can do to fulfill my purpose, "to be a man of total integrity, love and excellence in every area of my life and share freely the universal laws of success that God has granted me the wisdom to learn and use in creating extraordinary success for myself and others". Though there's an entire world to assist, not ironically, it starts with the man or woman staring back at you in the mirror (in my case daily...me!). If we are to be successful in achieving this; I am convinced, it has and will continue to take ‘Old School’ ethics to do so.
Work hard, love one another, and pay it forward. The world needs you and your gifts!