Power to overcome

James - Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Entered on September 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

Most of this past summer has gone by uneventful and carefree for me. A normal day for me usually consists of me sleeping in until some random hour of the day, me waking up, then me going to hang out with friends, and depending on the day maybe me going to work. However, one day things went on as they usually did, until my lunch break when something happened.

I had decided to go and eat at Tasty Tacos that day, and while I was waiting for my food I noticed a couple also waiting for their food. I would say that they were in their thirties or forties, and from a lower social class. Both of them had weathered faces, probably from the stresses of life. Maybe they couldn’t catch a single break, and everything they tried just hasn’t worked out. The clothes they wore were tattered and dirty and the husband had several tattoos; I distinctly remember one being of a skeleton. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation.

The wife said to her husband, “I am going to talk to your mom; I am going to ask her to lend us some money.”

The husband then replied, “My mom won’t do that because my father won’t allow it, he just won’t.”

The wife then said, “They would do it for the kids.”

I was about to hand them some money, but something held me back. I thought about it for a while back at work and came to realize that I didn’t hand them any money because I personally thought that it was their fault that they did not have any money, and that they were taking the easy way out. First of all, if you cannot afford to feed your children then why are you eating at a restaurant? Also, I know from personal experience that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it, then you will get it.

Both sets of my grandparents are immigrants from Southeast Asia. Growing up, my aunts and uncles did not have very much at all. However, when they grew up they knew they wanted a better life, so they worked hard for it. Every single one grew up to be successful. An uncle started what is now a successful small chain of Italian restaurants. Another uncle is a commercial airline pilot. An aunt owns couple Quizno’s franchises and is in the process of opening a teriyaki franchise. Another aunt owns several rental properties, and the list goes on and on. The point is that they all turned out to be successful and wealthy.

Basically I believe in the power of hard work and will. If you have enough of those two things you can overcome anything. Also, if you are in not that great of shape money wise I think that it is at least partially your fault. I don’t regret not giving that couple any money, even though I did feel bad for them. I think that they should be making smarter decisions, like not eating out when they don’t have the money, and that they could have worked harder.