do your time

There’s a certain trend that desperately needs to be reevaluated, redefined, or simply forgotten. “Doing your time” is the simple explanation of putting somebody through undue hard time/labor within the realms of a certain relationship; business, personal, fraternal or otherwise. Fraternities haze. Military forces habit and groupthink. Relationships guard trust.

Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege to work with incredible individuals that have spanned multiple generational gaps. A personal rule of mine is that I will not work with anybody I can’t learn something from — I must also be able to teach them something. If both sides of that equation aren’t met, there isn’t a win-win situation for either party.

Something I’ve also seen is an undertone of an attitude – displayed only a few times in the past few years – that seems to feel a personal responsibility for making me ‘do my time’ – added hardship or sweat in a deal that more seasoned members of the good ol’ boys club aren’t required to pass through. It’s a seemingly-justified ‘act of love’ done to teach those young whiz-kids-who-never-had-to-use-a-slide-rule-or-rotary-phone the ‘cost’ and ‘value’ of ‘real’ work.

I cry bullshit.

One has to ask whether or not the act of ‘doing my time’ is a productive use of hardship; often disguised as ‘education’ or ‘training’ versus completely absurd trials and tribulations that have nothing to do with the quality and output of their work.

Often, the ones screaming at you from behind bars to ‘do your time’ are the ones who are really locked up. Walk away with your freedom.

We’re taught to never burn bridges and to kiss asses. Some bridges are meant to be burnt so no other people get harmed by those on the opposite side. No ass deserves to be kissed. And the ass who demands his/her ass kissed will fail to understand the moral reasoning and assuredness of the individual who realizes they need not bow to anybody – not out of disrespect for the other, but out of righteous self-respect for themselves that serves as their personal model for proper treatment of others.

Remember, it’s the upstarts who challenged the system that brought all good things to this world. These innovators didn’t perform their art to stroke their egos (though I’m sure some did) – they did it because they were creators that knew they had a gift of an offering to the world that would be criticized under the microscope by naysayers…..but ultimately loved and appreciated.

Featured Image Shot By Greg Daniels Photography

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