An opportunity comes along

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

– Thomas Alva Edison

It has long been a tenet of our society that hard work is the key to success.

Whether it be a Horatio Alger story of one poor man scratching his way to the top or an entire nation putting forth an effort like the United States did during World War II, the message has been consistent:

Those who work the hardest win.

Recently we read an apocryphal story about Robert F. Kennedy’s stint as attorney general. Kennedy was convinced that the then head of the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa, was corrupt. Kennedy worked day and night to prove that corruption.

According to the story, Kennedy was leaving his office late one night and drove by the Washington headquarters of the Teamsters. He noticed that the light was on in Hoffa’s office. Kennedy thereupon turned his car around and returned to the Justice Department – he was not going to let Hoffa best him by outworking him.

Now, whether this particular story is true or not, Kennedy was known for his determination and hard work.

Today much of our industrial might has shifted abroad. The steel industry, for example, fled our shores because of outdated facilities and high labor costs. Now, though, as a result of fracking oil wells, the country finds itself with an abundance of natural gas – the perfect fuel to drive steel mills, glassware factories and like facilities.

Whether the nation will use this abundant cheap fuel to regain some of our lost manufacturing remains to be seen. The question is: Do we have the will to use this fuel source advantage to regain our manufacturing might?

The natural gas glut has handed us an opportunity. Are we willing to work hard enough to take advantage of it?

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.