Things I Want My Son To Know #15 ~ Work For What You Get

So, I was standing in line at a store and I saw a t-shirt. As a matter of pure digression, its amazing that everybody in the world seems to be wearing a t-shirt with a message of some kind. And some of the messages are really amazing, as in things that I would think people really would not want to advertise, but that’s what makes America great. Anyway, I was standing in line and on the back of a t-shirt in front of me it said … “you get what you work for, not what you hope for”. What a true and wonderful thing.

This world is just filled with “get rich quick” and schemes to do this or that. Many of them say that you don’t have to do much of anything, you don’t have to work; things like that. Anybody or anything that tells you you can get something for nothing is almost certainly lying to you. Everything takes work, everything takes practice. Even winning the lottery costs a dollar to buy the ticket; and you know the odds are millions to one against you.

It is a wonderful thing to have a dream, to have hopes, to have a vision of what you want your life to be. But understand that you will have to work to get there. Nobody will just hand you the life you want. And most of us had to work at many things we didn’t enjoy before we found the thing we wanted to do , or the life we wanted to have.

When you work at jobs you don’t love you learn about what a dollar is worth. When you are sweaty, hot, tired, over people and your feet hurt, your paycheck means a lot. And in the beginning, when your paycheck is pretty small, maybe you will learn how to budget your money, how to pay your bills and make it last. As you work harder and make more, you will have more of the things you want, but you still need to budget your money, pay your bills and make it last.

Work isn’t always fun and it certainly isn’t for sissies. But it is the only real means to an end. This is an old fashioned idea, it seems; everyone seems to think they are entitled to “things” without work these days. The world just doesn’t work that way and getting stuck in that kind of thinking will just keep you stuck. You should be open to all kinds of ideas for “work” and try whatever feels right to you but in the end…you need to keep your dreams and visions and hopes for your future in front of you. If you work hard, and keep your hopes alive, you will get the life you want.

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Things Your Father Wants You To Know #1 ~ Get An Education

Your father isn’t a writer, and he isn’t great at words, especially when it comes to his feelings. But he cares about your future more than you can possibly know. It is the great tragedy of his life that he did not get a post-secondary education. He is a very smart guy, and he has spent his life learning things, but many people won’t give him a second look because he doesn’t have a college degree. One of the most important things in his life is that you don’t screw up your chance at education, college and post college, whatever you need to have a better life.

Like your immigrant great grandparents who worked liked dogs to provide for their children’s education (an extremely Jewish tradition), your father would do anything to ensure that you get yours. Your father believes, and wants you to understand, that education is the key to a certain kind of life. It is not just the key to financial or work success, it is the key to a certain type of enjoyment of life. Reading, listening to the opinions of experts, researching things you are interested in, generally the acquisition of knowledge, makes life interesting, productive and fulfilling.

This year of all years, you need to step up, do what you need to do to make it happen. Your father and I can only give you moral support, you need to earn your college education, through having the grades for Bright Futures money, through working for what you want your future to be and through just plain working. There have been many opportunities not offerred and dreams unrealized for your father. It is the dream of all parents that their children have more and do better. This is your father’s dream and one he hopes you share. Your father recognizes that it is very difficult for youth to learn from their elders experiences; often needing to make their own mistakes. Some experiences do not need to be repeated.

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