I was going over the final week of school schedule with my oldest. The private Christian school he goes to is very big on ceremony for graduation, so practice for seniors and Michael’s junior class is scheduled around final exams. The junior class, of course, has to escort the seniors and do a lot to help make sure the various ceremonies go perfectly. This includes the appreciation service, the baccalaureate and finally the commencement.
As usual, the final practice for the juniors and seniors is when the freshmen and sophomores are assigned to: clean up duty. I nudged Michael and smiled as I noted that he was getting out of that this year. He was quite relieved. I mentioned to him that he had paid his dues and not it was time to enjoy getting out of the end of year clean up.
Dues paid means you’ve done the hard labor and now you can reap the rewards. In our society of dumbing down everything, not hurting anyone’s feelings and treating everyone as if they have the same talents and abilities (sorry, I’m not too happy with a doc who made c’s and d’s in medical school); we tend to see paying our dues as unfair and cruel.
But Michael, who has worked hard for three years now in high school, gets to enjoy the fruit of his labors. I think it is a much more satisfying reward than someone giving it to you when you didn’t earn it, but they were afraid your feelings might be hurt. Well done son. Enjoy what you’ve worked hard for as a junior. Next year will be even better as you graduate with earned honors!