Hard Work and a Good Education

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Hard work and a good education are majorly undervalued and overrated in today’s society. Historically those with a good work ethic and strive for knowledge are those who are talked about in history books and are praised in museums. Up from Slavery, an autobiography by and about Booker T. Washington, sheds light on the thinking behind a former slave who was freed into a racist society, but who had determination, a hard work ethic and a strive for education. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin takes its readers through the life of a prominent historical figure, whose drive for education was unrivaled.

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Both autobiographies demonstrate hard work and perseverance, that is important even to this day. This is demonstrated through Booker T.’s strong work ethic leading to freedom and independence, and Benjamin Franklin’s will to learn and grow even in his free time.

Booker T. Washington showed the importance of hard work throughout his life and how overcoming obstacles has led to success in his life. In his autobiography, Booker T. states, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has received in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed” (Washington 23). Booker T. showed how success is not achieved by one’s position but by what one did to get to that position, and the obstacles one had to go through to get there. Booker T. worked for his enrollment into Hampton, by which he learned the importance of working hard for what you want and for what you have. His pursuit for an education refined his work ethic and helped him to become humbler and stronger. These qualities are both what helped him through his life and what he is remembered for.

Booker T. shows how hard work can lead to independence. If one can prove that one can do the work, then people will trust them to be able to get the work done and will therefore give them more responsibility, and with responsibility come freedom. If one gets to know someone and they prove that they can do the labor, by showing that they can commit, you develop trust and respect. “Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. When I have read of labor troubles between employers and employees, I have often thought that many strikes and similar disturbances might be avoided if the employers would cultivate the habit of getting nearer to their employees, of consulting and advising with them, and letting them feel that the interests of the two are the same” (Washington 88). This quote shows that Booker T. believed in the same ideas, that if one can be trusted to do the work than one will have more trust and respect, which leads to freedom. Booker T. was proof that work ethic can gain you independence and that’s what he wanted to convey within his autobiography.

Benjamin Franklin was another great example of how hard work can bring both freedom and independence. Benjamin Franklin is a great example of someone who never quits working for what they want. This is also the main theme of his autobiography. Benjamin Franklin believed that a strong work ethic and perseverance made the perfect combination for a successful and thriving life. Benjamin Franklin showed how he was always learning through quotes such as: “…there will be sleeping enough in the grave…” (Benjamin Franklin Appendix.1), and “Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself” (Benjamin Franklin 105). These quotes display Benjamin Franklin belief that with hard work and perseverance, you can grow in knowledge and as a person. These are aspects that many are losing today that needs to be remembered and spread.

Benjamin Franklin believed in and displayed true work ethic when it came to gaining an education and/or working for one. Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of learning and understanding even when others didn’t. He knew that no one else cared about learning as much as he did and wrote in a letter to Mr. Abel James “When the well is dry, we know the value of water” (Benjamin Franklin Appendix 8). He tells Mr. James that when no one has the knowledge the value of knowledge will truly be known. Benjamin Franklin was one to work toward and for furthering his education, no matter what is took. He showed the importance of working for what you want and need and to never underestimating knowledge. These ideals are still very important to this day and our often forgotten.

Though from different backgrounds Booker T. Washington and Benjamin Franklin both strove for an industrial education and showed the importance of hard work and perseverance. They displayed strong work ethics and stuck to their principles. Whether it was through overcoming obstacles, furthering their education, working for independence, or upholding your ideals both men showed how important they are to one’s life. These ideals are often forgotten in modern society but are still just as important as they were in the past.

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Hard Work and A Good Education. (2021, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/hard-work-and-a-good-education/