Posted By RichC on September 2, 2015
Let me start off that I have been abundantly blessed and thankfully to this point I haven’t faced the need for “therapy,” as the many versions of the below tee-shirt make light of. In my case was fortunate to be born to loving parents who emulated what it was to be a great mother and father, as well as loving spouses to each other their entire adult lives. This built a solid foundation for me, something that is no longer the norm in today’s secular culture. Without faith and a strong family teaching by example, life for the next generation begins as an uphill climb.
That’s not to say there were no difficulties. There were enough challenges to experience failure, my own limitations and the wisdom of good judgment. I also learned the benefits of persistence and value of a good work ethic – belated thanks mom and dad. This meant that I wasn’t handed everything … but given what I needed in order to experience the satisfaction of achievement. Thankfully accomplishments rarely went unrewarded and setbacks only encouraged more effort.
I was reminded of this on Monday when showing a my mother-in-law’s car to a young man (Andrew), who recently graduated from high school; he was working two part time jobs in order to save for college and also wanted his own car (what boy doesn’t?) We talked a bit about his plan and he explained that he was unhappy living with his father and that being from a divorced family, his mother lived out of state. It is sad seeing broken relationships played out through children. Andrew achieved in all sports in high school and took pride that earned a baseball scholarship that would help him in college, but that he also was working two jobs in order to earn enough to even possibly go to college. Some of us take for granted that college is somehow always going to be available for those who want it. In Andrew’s case, he was putting off the first semester in order to save enough from his combined jobs in order to have enough for the Spring semester (I suggested taking a class or two locally … couldn’t help myself). He admitted that academics were not his strong suit and I wondered if buying an $11,000 SUV was the “perfect plan” … but I was once a young man and understand the strong pull of the “wheels of freedom” (your own car). Nevertheless, I was impressed with is work ethic and plan to achieve a goal. After talking with him, I realized that too many times we wear the blinders of our own communities and circles of friends (middle income suburbia) and we see things through the prism of our surroundings and not necessarily though those that face a few more challenges.
For Andrew, the father in me may have come out. I purposely didn’t over sell him the car. I pointed out that it is not fuel efficient for driving back and forth to his minimum wage jobs or commuting to classes before going to full time class in the spring. It was also over his budget, meaning he would have to borrow … although really didn’t want to dissuading him. I too remember the “freedom of my own car draw” and could hear my dad in my head logically pointing to the pitfalls of teenage car ownership when I could borrow my mom’s car when necessary (I eventually bought my first car when I was a junior in college … but have made up for the late start over the years!)
I think I’d make a lousy car salesman if all customers were like Andrew.