Endeavor to persevere

Tim - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Endeavor to persevere

Thirteen was my age when I began working for a famer down the road from where I lived. My mother would drop me off there, other times I would walk. At that time in my life I was seeking not to engage in the workforce of every other hardworking adult in America, no I was in hot pursuit of a go-kart that would take me anywhere I wanted to go. The decision to work in the scorching hot sun during my summer out from school was made only after my father refused to listen to my whimpering fusses that I was sure would land me that 5 horse power red go kart that I laid up dreaming about at night. Spending that summer on a farm hauling hay, picking strawberries and planting tobacco while my friends were off doing what normal kids do, taught me the value of the dollar. It was at that point in my childhood that I gained a new respect for my father. At that point I began searching for other critical life learned lessons that he would be sending my way in the future. That time came around my fifteenth birthday. Needless to say I never did get to my go kart; I began setting my sights on something better.

At fifteen, and a few hard earned bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I asked my father to help me find a truck in preparation to start driving myself to and fro giving me utmost independence. To my surprise, he agreed. I spent hours searching local ads and scouring the countryside for neighbors that had the truck I was looking for. One day I spotted an ad for this unique truck and told my dad. I didn’t speak to my dad the whole ride home from going to look at the truck, simply because he told me it needed too much work for the asking price, and he told me I would be working on that truck till I was old and gray just to get it on the road. At the time I didn’t believe him, but began my search all over again. A few months later I had landed my eyes on another truck ad, and I put it on my father’s night stand for him to look at. The ad laid there for a good week it seemed like till he finally picked it up and looked at it. Upon conversation with him about the truck after he called the owner, I got the notion that I should keep looking.

One morning I woke up and things didn’t seem right. Our family never ate breakfast on Saturday morning without dad. I asked my mother where he was and she told me he had to get up early to take some beef cattle to the market. As strangely as it seemed, I shifted my focus to those homemade blueberry pancakes that were staring me right in the face. A few hours after breakfast, I was outside making trouble with something when down the driveway came my father with the only thing that had been on my mind for months.

“It needs work” said my father as gave me a smirk of regret. I pretended not to notice his gesture as I climbed in the 66’ Chevy truck short wheel base fleet side covered in three different shades of primer and rust. Minutes turned to days which turned into months tearing apart and putting back the pieces of that truck while I watched my hard earned money dwindle. It was not long though till I had it on the road, but it was at that point I realized my father had taught me another hard lesson; one being to not be so arrogant and also to have patience for something and if it is right, it will come to you.

Now as I currently work for a company doing industrial maintenance, I have a whole kit of work ethics that my father instilled in me, along with those little lessons about life. At times my boss will see me struggling with a job and tell me “you must have the endeavor to persevere”. Sometimes I have to think back and kind of chuckle at my dad because I can still hear him say as I was working on that old truck “you must have endeavor to persevere”.