Brad Kent, kentdb@muohio.edu

With this being the final issue of The Miami Student before winter break, I wanted to take some time to encourage everyone to add two resolutions to their list of New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are:

1. Take pride in all that you do.

2. Do the little things right.

Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Buffett explain these ideas better than I ever could. King was quoted saying, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Jimmy Buffett wrote a song from the perspective of a street sweeper, when asked why he went about his job so merrily. The street sweeper replied, “It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess, and that’s enough reason to go for me . It’s my job to be better than the rest , and that makes the day for me.”

Whether it is studying for that Friday final, taking coffee orders in King Café or restacking the shelves at your supermarket during the break, perform your job with gusto. If you believe what you do does not matter, look closer. The little things matter in the long run.

They matter to the professor who decides whether to give you an 89 or a 90. They matter to the student having a terrible day when you greet him or her with a smile and a short chat while taking an order. I use King Café as an example because I eat lunch there every Monday and Wednesday.

I stand and chat for a moment with the cashier, the talk involves nothing ground breaking, but I walk away feeling better than before I had that interaction.

A simple hello and a brief discussion on how one another’s weeks are going is all that is needed. It turns an ordinary occurrence like buying a sandwich into a memorable occasion.

Each and every one of us has the power to influence another’s day for the better. It has happened to me, and I am sure it has happened to most of you reading this.

When we read the newspapers or turn on the news, we find that the world outside our little Miami University bubble is rough. Out of all the madness happening in the world however, there is still hope.

Page 2 of the Dec. 6 edition of The Miami Student told the story about students who ride across America on bicycles to raise money for people with disabilities. These men raise thousands of dollars each, for the opportunity to support those in need.

A story from USA Today titled, “Some reject retirement, keep working even into 90s,” explains how a 91-year-old woman rejects retirement and continues working six days a week at her jewelry shop. Maxine Bennett, “just simply enjoys going to work every day.”

She takes pride in what she does, and it keeps her going. This story speaks to the larger message in this article. It is not about what you do, it is about how you do it.

Anyone can come in, punch a time card and go through the motions. Anyone at Miami University can sign up for a class yet get on Facebook during class and go through the motions throughout the semester. But to live the rich, fulfilling lives we all dream about, it takes more than that. It takes doing the little things right.

Never settling for less when we know more can be achieved. If Maxine Bennett, at 91, can go to work six days a week and still find it enjoyable, we can certainly drag ourselves to class day in and day out.

Please, enjoy the next few weeks. We can all use the time to recharge, to reconnect with family and friends, and to get ready for the next semester. So after opening those iPads and designer sweaters and jeans that you will all seamlessly integrate, prepare to get back to work.

The mess that exists outside our Miami bubble needs to be fixed, and who better to do it than Miami students.

Come back with these two resolutions: to take pride in all that you do, and to do the little things right. They will be essential for the rest of your lives. Happy Holidays and as one of my dear friends always says, “Be great, do great!”

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