Having good work ethic is defined as being diligent and placing value in hard work and in doing a good job. It may also be defined as the belief that hard work enhances character. Cinderella’s excellent work ethic is among the lessons and morals of her story, and certainly her work ethic is shown to be a character builder throughout the story. There is a lot to be learned from this aspect of the story. Stuck in such harsh conditions as she was, she nevertheless made the best of things and worked through things. She worked hard even though her stepmother and stepsister did none of the work and did not help her at all. Finally, she did so while remaining uncomplaining, and keeping a positive attitude.
Unfortunately, many people tend to think in a self-centered way. If things aren’t going their way, they feel the need to complain. Without being taught, a good work ethic can be hard to come by, with things like T.V., phones, and tablets taking over people’s time. Things like cleaning their room or helping with chores are often seen as burdens by kids rather than just another part of the day to make things run smoothly. Instead of helping out, they may even complain that certain friends at school don’t have to clean their room/do chores/etc.; looking at how others have it rather than focusing on what they have to do.
By reading Cinderella, kids can see the stark contrast between Cinderella, who does all the work, and her stepsisters, who do none of the work. Cinderella is definitely portrayed in a much more positive way in the story, thus sending to kids the message that her way is far superior to the stepsisters’ ways. Little kids reading the story certainly do not aspire to more like the stepsisters! Cinderella doesn’t look to her stepsisters’ ways and complain that they aren’t helping to clean so neither would she clean. Instead, she cheerily continues her work.
Ask your child or students to think of a time when they were faced with a struggle in life or a hard situation. Also, have them think of the chores they do at home, and have them compare them to the chores Cinderella does. Maybe next time they’re asked to clean their room, they’ll do so without complaining or thinking they have too much to do! Instead, they’ll hopefully see working uncomplainingly as a preferable alternative, and will see the value in working hard.