It was the summer of 1858 in London.
The stench of human waste filled the humid air and outbreaks of contagious disease ran rampant.
People feared the effect of not only the smell, but the possibility that the sheer filth that floated in the Thames River might contaminate their drinking water.
Local press coined the event as “The Great Stink”.
Something had to be done and Sir Joseph William Bazalgette had an idea. He thought up a sewer system that could carry and dump waste beyond the outskirts of the city’s population.
Okay maybe he didn’t save the world, but he sure as hell saved a lot of lives in London. And these types of advancements were happening around the globe.
I doubt many of us would be here if civilizations continued to drink turd martinis and industrial waste cocktails.
The hard work of the people that bring ideas like the one Joseph Bazalgette had, to life, are the reason we keep on living.
I thought about hard work a lot this past weekend as I laid on the cold unforgiving concrete under my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
A cold Saturday spent rolling in rust and grease.
Dirty work gets a bad name. Far worse than it deserves.
I remember my high school auto teacher saying, “You don’t want to be a mechanic all of your life”. He was wrong.
I do want to be a mechanic all my life. Because hard work is undervalued.
When my tanks on E after a long day, I have no energy left for incessant thinking. The kind of thinking that drains my spirit. It feels good, in a weird way.
I finish work with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Not the pat yourself on the back type of accomplishment.
The type of accomplishment that’s humbling. The accomplishment that comes with a side of cuts, bumps, and bruises that each remind us that we’re human.
We want everything to be easy. We think we shouldn’t have problems. We wish hard work didn’t exist.
It’s not our fault though. We can probably blame it on the industrial revolution.
The hard stuff is exactly what gives us life. Our challenges and struggles are what we’re made of.
It’s a pain in the ass to push through the soil, but it’s the only way to bloom.
When we’re too comfortable we fall asleep on life. Then by the time we wake up, the movies over.
Hard work saves the world. It saves us.
This is your chance to be a superhero. Someone’s gotta do it.