In one of my classes today I had to write a reflection on my strengths, weaknesses, leadership style, heroes, etc.
I surprised myself by really having a lot to say about my heroes. These people have a great influence on me and have a lot to do with why I value thriftiness and creativity. So I thought I’d share…
My Grandma- My grandma’s family was poor in the first place, and life was even worse when the Depression hit. Her parents didn’t set such a good role for her, which she overcame to be a great mom. She was independent, assertive, and creative. She appreciated the simple things in life. I wish I didn’t talk about her in past tense, but she passed away when I was two. Mom still passes along a lot of her knowledge like, “Use your head, save your feet,” and, “Don’t be ashamed of clothes with holes, as long as they have patches!”
My Dad- My dad sold his farm and moved to Iowa in 1990 and has been working for another farmer ever since. I know that it must be a little sore to not be working for himself or not to own land, but I have never heard him complain. He is completely respectful of his boss and is very thankful for his job. He works like it is his own farm. When we were young we would sometimes pick rock for his boss. (This involves walking alongside a wagon and picking rocks off the field so the equipment isn’t ruined) We hated it, but Dad said that if we could pick rock, our families would never go hungry. I said to my mom that I didn’t ever thing I could work as hard as my dad. She said good, because that would be unhealthy. But if I do half as well, I will still be respectable.
My Mom- In a sociology class, I learned that I grew up in poverty. (Hired worker income / 7 people = poor.) My instructor gave us a sheet that listed characteristics of people in poverty. One was “I know how to use a knife for a scissors,” or, “I know where to buy a firearm even if I have a felony.” That was offensive.
Mom gave us the best gift she could: education. We were all prepared for school, we were all good students, and we all love to read. She even caught my brother’s attention, no small feat, with Gary Paulsen books. Education is free. Although there was always money for books! Even though we were “poor,” Mom was always encouraging us to volunteer with church, donate to the food pantry and the giving tree, and help out the “poor” family down the street. She taught us to be so thankful for what we had.
BTW: I HATE the word “poor.” “Poor” to me reeks of deprivation and sadness. I see children today surrounded by material goods who are never happy because they always want more. And these are the fortunate ones? I think not.