Diligence is defined as persistence, dedication, and hard work. Some may say these qualities are deep-rooted within individuals while others say they are acquired. It is my experience that they are both. People throughout our lives influence the paths we choose through their actions. Very special people find our strengths and encourage us to better ourselves.
Consider a young woman, suddenly left widowed with five children. She worked hard to provide for her family, investing nearly forty-years of her life to the fruit-tree industry. This line of work was hard—budding trees in hundred-degree heat during the summer and grading fruit trees during the winter in cold storage units. Through all of this difficulty, she still took great pride in her work. That pride was reflected in her personal life also. She had the most beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Moments with family and friends were spent in her yard, drinking coffee and admiring the fragrances and colors of her work. There wasn’t a flower or plant she couldn’t name! This woman made a significant impact in my life in many meaningful ways, she was my grandmother. My grandmother exhibited true dedication and perseverance in how she lived her life; from the difficulties she overcame to the impact she had on others, she was a woman of true diligence.
Another influential woman, Mrs. Derefield, was an elementary school teacher in a small community. She taught her students that struggling was a natural part of growing. She offered them encouragement by engaging them in highly interesting and often challenging texts. Books they would have never believed they could have read on their own! Mrs. Derefield saw potential in children. She taught them to work hard from a very young age. She encouraged them to seek help during free time to achieve academic goals. Her belief in them taught that with hard work and determination, they could do anything they set their mind to. She was right. Years later, I was one of those children that followed in her footsteps. I, too, became an educator and pursued a master’s degree in Educational Administration. I will never forget her impact that forever shaped my life.
These highly influential people impacted others more than they will ever know. There are many more individuals in my life that exhibited true diligence; the list is long and of equal importance. However, if it wasn’t for special people like my grandmother and Mrs. Derefield, who knows where I’d be today. As an educator and colleague, I hope to motivate and inspire those around me to recognize their abilities, pursue their passions, and overcome their fears, just as my grandmother and Mrs. Derefield did for me.
Tracie Husted is an Instructional Coach and Intervention Specialist with West Valley School District. She has served as an educator the last 13 years both in private and public education. Tracie has her Masters in Educational Administration and currently serves an adjunct professor in the Whitworth University’s Principal Certification Program. She is also a co-owner of Husted Leadership Consulting—offering coaching, education, and training.