today’s generation lost its work ethic?
By Jake Ipson
Waking up early to do chores, running
home on a lunch break to do more chores, only to come
home after school to do even more chores. Imagine kids
doing that today, running home just do get the chores
done. That was the life that Ardean Bench had when he
was growing up. He learned from an early age what work
was and what a good work ethic that life required.
Has today’s generation lost good
work ethic? Are kids not brought up working hard, or
are they just lazy?
Ardean Bench was born in 1928 in
Salina, Utah. The middle child of nine, he remembers
the great depression. He says that his family raised
their own garden, killed their own meat and made their
own clothes, so they never went without. He says the
househis family lived in was small and had a partially
dug-out basement that the boys would sleep in.
When his father got a job in Orem,
Utah, the house his family moved into was not big enough
for the entire family. So some had to sleep outside
in a tent. Bench stayed behind in Salina on a farm with
his uncle. He said he had 20 heada of Jersey cows that
he had to milk twice a day and run home during his lunch
break to feed them. Though the farm was about a mile
away from his school, he was hardly ever late returning
to school and on those occasions that he was late, his
teachers would understand why.
On weekends and during the summer
months, he would help out the other farmers as much
as he could and earned 25 cents an hour, making a $2.50
“I was taught and have always believed
that a person should give an “honest day’s work” for
whatever the agreed salary was for an “honest day’s
pay.” Bench said. “If a person is able to work and does
nothing they should not receive anything. There is no
justice in taking money from those who work and earn
money and then to take a portion of it and give it to
those who refuse to work. If a person is truly unable
to work then I believe that they should be cared for
by those who are able to do so.”
After serving amission for the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he came home and
cashed in War Bonds he purchased before he left. He
got a total of $75 dollars for which he began his schooling
at BYU. He later transferred to up to Rexburg, Idaho,
where he finished his degree.
After completing his schooling, he
had planned to teach biology and sociology but was offered
a teaching position with the LDS church teaching seminary.
When asked if the students changed throughout his teaching
tenure, he remembers there was a distinct change in
attitude and behavior in his students. He remembers
the kids were much more teachable and they would accept
an assignment and they would just do it.
He said as time passed, the students
not only got lazier, they felt the need to be entertained
in the classroom and the responsibility of an assignment
was something terrible. He felt that the attitude changed
to a lack of respect for teachers, administrators and
“We were actually told that if rudeness,
crudeness, and lewdness offended you, teaching may not
be for you,” said Bench.
In Bridging the (Generation) Gap
By Gloria Plaisted at franchising.com, she says that
the technology has a lot to do with the way kids are
acting these days. Kids are able to communicate at such
high speeds they sometimes have a hard time showing
enthusiasm when at work. They feel they need to be at
a job where the company provides a fun atmosphere. However,
they also seem to work harder when around their friends
as though they have to compete with them. She stated
that in this generation of kids, they may seem to be
lazy and slow workers, but they are the ones who will
be there to fix your computer if you have a system malfunction.
Sampson Lee Blair of Arizona State
University conducted a study with children and their
involvement with household work. He found that children
between the ages of 6 and 12 do about 12 percent of
the household work. He found that kids whose parents
both worked 40 hours a week do the most chores around
the house. Children who have a stay at home parent tend
to do more chores than those who don't.
“As I look around the houses of children
today, I find piles of clothes all over, clutter, things
everywhere. There is too much TV, video games, I-pods,
texting, etc. & etc. Now there is even an epidemic of
'sex-ting' on cell phones. Parents are far too often
a 'friend' rather than a parent. Oh, you can’t hurt
your kid’s feelings; they may never recover from it.
There are a great many young people who do not have
good ethics as they prepare for their futures. This
is evident by the corruption in our major businesses.
Some do have good work ethics. However, look at the
rise in gangs, lawlessness, drug and moral problems.”
“If parents would truly be parents,
there would be hope for the young people, but many parents
are derelict in their duties. When over 50 percent of
marriages fail and more children are born out of wedlock
than in, what can happen except things get worse? When
our government subsidizes unwed teens, what can we expect
but things getting worse?” said Bench.
According to the National Restaurant
Association 44 percent of 16 to 19 year olds were employed
in 2006. That is 10 percent lower than 10 years ago
and 20 percent lower than when their parents were teenagers.
Plaisted said the flexibility of kid’s schedules these
days also play a big part in not working. She thinks
parents put a lot of pressure on their kids to stay
active in school and other activities and also want
them to earn their own money. For this reason parents
will intervene with their kid’s employment a lot more
than they used to.
“All of my children have good work
ethics. All are completely honest in their lives and
wouldn’t cheat, steal or take advantage of anyone. I
do believe the youth of today are very lazy. Part of
this is because the majority of children do not have
“chores” to do or even know the meaning of responsibility.
As a group, they have to be “entertained”. They seem
to need to have that thrill, or be a high. The parents
are supporting them into adulthood and in many cases
beyond,” said Bench.
“I believe that if young people would
learn to be self reliant, develop a positive attitude
about life and take responsibility for themselves that
there would be a great improvement. We have a God given
power within us to do good and we, they, all of us need
to be engaged in a good cause rather than spend so much
valuable time doing things just to take up time and
be entertained. Young people as well as older people
just need to get with it,” said Bench.