Diligence should be practiced in all walks of life
In Our Opinion
Cheney and Medical Lake school districts have been promoting character education at all grade levels since the start of the current school year, using a list of monthly traits developed by the Spokane Valley organization PACE — Partners Advancing Character Education.
The trait for the month of the March is diligence, which PACE describes as “persistence, dedication and hard work.”
It is important we teach children that through diligence, they can develop a work ethic that will not only take them far into the future, but also help them achieve their goals.
Many high school students already practice diligence on a daily basis. Some kids divide their time between academics, sports, music and campus clubs. They also may be working a part-time job or volunteering with an organization outside of school.
It takes diligence for these students to perform all of these tasks physically and mentally without giving up.
Although they may be sacrificing bits of their social life and sleep schedule, these teenagers are making up for it with the feeling of satisfaction they get from doing these activities and the experience they are building for tomorrow.
For some students, their motivation comes from their parents. Although some adults may push their children into doing these activities as a way to live vicariously through them, others will be happy that their children are working toward their dreams. While some students are inspired from the diligence they see from their parents, who work to keep a roof over their heads, others will pursue goals because they want to make life better for themselves and others.
Central Valley High School senior Katy Dolan started LETEM Play, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes instruments for kids and starting clinics in order to make music fun for kids in 2012.
In a column, Dolan wrote that hard work, dedication and passion helped her organization succeed. Two years after she started LETEM Play, Dolan has helped distribute more than “$14,000 worth of musical equipment and raised $10,000.”
She also mentioned that she faced adversity along the way. One of these hurdles was proving to others that she was as “competent as people twice her age.”
Although some may have disregarded Dolan because of she is a teenager, there were probably some people who thought that it was great she was starting this organization and were willing to help her.
Part of diligence means being persistent about working with others to help complete your goals. If people know that you are involved in something that is a good cause, they will do what they can to help you.
There are some areas where diligence is not being used, such as in the realm of politics.
Candidates who are seeking office will claim they are representing the people, but after they are elected, they end up only representing a certain group rather than the majority. These leaders also assume that because the people chose them, everyone agrees — or should agree — with their ideas. They do not recognize that there are other sides to their beliefs.
These politicians should remember that they promised to represent all of the voters and address the issues they brought up in their campaign. Similar to the students who dedicate themselves to activities, these leaders will have to put in the extra time to accomplish these goals, but they don’t have to do it alone.
The people who may not see their side of things can help these leaders tackle the issues. Working with someone else may not get you exactly what you want, but you are still making progress and establishing relationships that can benefit you in the future.
Diligence also means knowing when to pull back. Sometimes we set a goal and it takes more time and effort than we anticipated to reach it. We have to put our aspirations on the backburner and take care of the obstacles that get in our way. There are also times we set the bar too high and our goal is unattainable.
You don’t want to abandon these dreams, but at the same time you do not want to over-promise and under-deliver. You should ask yourself “what is realistic?” “what can be done?” and go from there. With diligence, you can still accomplish something that may not have been your original goal, but still relates to it.