There was a time when fathers would teach their sons a trade or craft. It has been said, “If a father doesn’t teach his son a trade then he teaches him to steal.” Now days many young people grow up not having to work or learn a trade. Some of the younger generations are “fed hand and foot” and not given any responsibilities. This is a grave mistake on the part of parents. Their offspring are not prepared mentally to “take the bull by the horns” in providing for their self or a family.
When I grew up most young folks were at least given chores around the family home. These could include mowing the lawn, working in flower beds and vegetable gardens. My mother gave my three sisters responsibilities in the home. As a result all three of them became excellent cooks. My dad owned and managed different types of businesses; including a grocery store, a furniture store, and a car agency. I was too young to help in the grocery store, but did in the other two businesses. In the summer of 1953 I held down three jobs. During the day I worked for my dad at his Pontiac dealership, in the late afternoon I was the relief projectionist operator at the movie theater in downtown Idabel, Oklahoma. This was for an hour so that the regular projectionist could take time to eat an evening meal. Immediately after he came back I drove two miles east of town to the “Y” at the Rancho Movie Drive-in. During that summer I was the fulltime projectionist there.
Now day child labor laws may go too far in restricting children working. Certainly slave labor is wrong regardless of a person’s age or race. Some nations are guilty of allowing the slavery of children as laborers. This should not be! There may be isolated situations of such in our own nation, but those guilty of doing so should be arrested, jailed, and then throw away the key.
It has also been said, “No man is worth his salt if he ask someone else to do for him what he can do himself.” Again the expression: “You need to earn your own keep” places emphasis upon everyone being responsible for their own welfare.
Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. Presently he serves as full time evangelist for the Pittsburg Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)