I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. -Frank Lloyd Wright
Today is a big day in the Blackwell family. It is the day my father, George Otho Blackwell, retires from a lifetime of work from D.C. Local Steamfitters Union 602. Even more impressive than a lifetime of work is the lifetime of commuting that he did. My father has woken up at 3:30am to combat the treacherous pathways of I-95 my entire life, usually not getting home from work until 6:00pm or 7:00pm in the evening. This work ethic was silently passed onto both myself and my brother, and we both take the legacy very seriously.
What strikes me most about the work ethic demonstrated by my father is that he never once complained. Never did I hear him grumble about what time he had to wake up in the morning when I would ask him to stay up and watch a TV show with me as a child. Never did he moan about exactly how terrible it is to be stuck in traffic on I-95 for upwards of 3 hours at a time. The man embodied patience that can only be explained through love and humility. My dad did what he needed to do. He did it with love and he did it dutifully for he knew that the fruits of his labors would multiply. And, thanks to his decades of 15-hour days, my brother and I were given opportunities that have shaped my entire existence, opportunities such as swimming year-round, home-schooling, boarding school, college and travel abroad. Without my father’s daily, dutiful drive to D.C., none of these would have been possible, and I am forever grateful.
Work hard, and be consistent in your hard work. Work ethic is something that is loud in example and humble in its’ essence, so be true to doing everything that you do to the best of your ability. You never know who is learning from your example or who you are inadvertently inspiring through your commitment.
Happy Retirement Dad! Congratulations and thank you for silently showing me the value of loving what you do and working for what and who you love.