Jordan Green talks about growing up

by Jordan Green

As I've gotten older, I've been fortunate to learn from some great people the true value of hard work.

School is out for the summer, and for me, that means plenty of long, hot days lie ahead. Between working here at the Journal-Tribune, where I'm sure to keep busy with hard-hitting reporting and some more light-hearted columns like this one, and the farms, where I'm always playing around on my growing tractor collection, I plan to have a great summer. One filled with lots of thoughtful writing – and plenty of wrench-turning.

When school let out on Wednesday, May 15, I immediately got on the proverbial ball of work. I helped a dear friend get ready to pack up and move, and I started getting leads on big summer stories for the paper. In the days following, I've tinkered on some of my tractors, helped my friends take care of their cattle, and covered storm damage right here in Kay County, America.

And, occasionally, I've found time to sleep. That's what they make the time between 1 AM and 3 AM for.

You know, I've always been the busy type. In school, I was an active member of three choirs, and I always had some singing engagement outside of school. My Uncle Bob (he's a great bass singer) and I are always serenading the lovely church-going folk around Kay County on Sundays. Aside from my choral adventures, I was involved in student government and other academic groups. (Not to brag, but I did graduate as one of my school's valedictorians. I put in a little time in the classroom.)

I've always worked outside the classroom as well. I started mowing lawns when I was 15, and I was working on my friends' farms for as long as I can remember. I quit counting the number of jobs I've held at once because there are just too many to mention. They might not even be paying jobs, but they're jobs nonetheless. Even keeping tabs on all of my multiple personalities is a chore!

I've been told I have a strong work ethic before, and I don't find it narcissistic to say that it's true. I do work hard. I was fortunate enough to grow up with an amazing family that taught me the value of hard work. My grandparents and parents alike have always instilled in me the sense that I must work for what I want in life; even if someone were to give me what I want, it isn't really “mine” unless I did something to earn it.

I think it's an important lesson for all of us to remember: work hard for what you want, and you will be rewarded one way or another. Even if it's not with a big paycheck, it's with a sense of pride.

With hard work comes a lot of pride, but it's the good kind. It's not the pride that makes you think you're better than anyone else; it's the pride that makes you get up each and every morning excited for the day's tasks. I might sound crazy, but I truly love waking up, putting on my fedora, and racing out the door with my trusty camera to report the news. It's in my blood, right along with all the motor oil from my tractors. (I'm pretty sure I've had enough oil on my skin that some has soaked through. I should probably talk to someone about that. But I digress.)

I am very proud of my work. My dad raised me to believe that, if something is worth any bit of your time, you should give it your all. I try to do that each and every day, no matter what I'm up to. Whether I'm rebuilding a carburetor or rewriting a story, I put my heart into it – even when I don't think I have the guts to do it.

To me, there is an intrinsic beauty in knowing that you have earned what you have – and that comes from working for it. Around the farm, I've gotten blisters, bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and sores. And around the newspaper, I've put in all-nighters to make sure that each and every story comes out just the way it was meant to: as an unbiased, informative article that truly helps the people of Kay County. From that hard work, my family has some gorgeous property, and I have a unique tractor collection that I'll cherish forever. Most importantly, I've been a part of the team that makes the Journal-Tribune the great paper that it is.

Is any of it easy? Nope. But is all of it worth it? You bet it is. I know that I deserve what I have because I made it what it is.

When I hang up my hat after a long day's work, I feel happy. For me, there is something more meaningful about work than just getting a nice paycheck. It's all about knowing that you did it to better yourself. For me, that's the greatest gift: knowing the value of hard work.