Hard Work: The Cultivation of Self

A Spartan helmet rests on rocks with a blurry background.

Alas, finals week has arrived. Yes, the time that every Ridgeview student dreads has come. It is not uncommon for students to grow discouraged at such times, bogged down in the thick and steamy mud of existential essays and painstakingly rigorous exams. But fear not! There is a purpose to this yet.

We, as students of Ridgeview, have often heard tell of the importance that hard work and difficult tasks have in cultivating our minds. This unpleasant muck of academic rigor is not without reward–and the highest reward at that! This reward cannot be measured on any earthly scale, but indeed is above all things temporal. It lies not in one’s GPA, nor in the scores of dreaded standardized tests. No. Such a reward is found in the improvement of one’s self. Therefore, be not discouraged at the sight of the tasks set before you; I assure you, they aren’t all for naught.

Yet, the simple completion of these tasks is not enough. One must strive for something above all this. If one should desire to achieve the kind of reward about which I talk, they must find purpose in what they do. Strive for good grades, and that will be the extent of your accomplishments. Strive for self-cultivation, and you will receive the key to endless possibilities. This key is achieved only through that which is difficult, and is therefore a prize that few can claim the possession of. It thus appears that Emerson has it right when he says,

Though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self Reliance”

The hammer and iron have been set before you my friends; only you can forge your destiny–make it a good one.

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