I cried for my mom to give me the final piece of milk toast at dinner, because I was still so hungry. She smiled and handed me the last piece. I hadn’t known that she had not eaten at all yet. She worked two full time jobs, but bec...
I cried for my mom to give me the final piece of milk toast at dinner, because I was still so hungry. She smiled and handed me the last piece. I hadn’t known that she had not eaten at all yet. She worked two full time jobs, but because of the layoff at the steel foundry, the jobs were minimum wage, and we barely were meeting the bills.
Looking at my two sleeping children today, I understand her sacrifices. Compared with the confusing and narcissistic sensations of childhood hunger, it is not as difficult for an adult to work without food when you get to feed your children because of it.
When my wife and I moved in to our first house, a wood burning one room shack in the mountains, she was very frugal and managed to stretch our budget of $700 per month to pay all of our bills, and feed our newborn. Beans and rice in bulk, and anything else we could squeeze from the coins we found in the couch pillows.
I had nothing built in my career: no books, videos or gyms; just one on one training. Because of our remote location, I spent much of the money I earned on gas. I don’t know how we managed, and there were some desperate nights, but my wife always managed to awake smiling at the sunshine, flowers and our baby’s face. God loves that woman.
We try to volunteer our time for others as much as we can. She’s constantly involved in the community. One of my routine investments involves my best use: writing my articles here to help inspire and motivate others through their hardships and challenges; to which a friend recently remarked, “You spend an hour every morning writing for your audience. Shouldn’t you better use that time in your projects; or at least try and monetize that writing, so you can get a return on it?”
Not everything should be transactional. Sometimes, you just need to give without any expectation of receiving. When you recognize how much you actually have, and how many problems others face, like my Mother and my Wife, it is not so difficult to give. It has helped me through my ongoing challenges as well, for when I feel overwhelmed by the sheer mountain of project deadlines, seminar hours and flight plans, I realize I GET to do this. And my tiny, childish complaints at the volume of work, subside.
When you are at your job, unapologetically insist on getting paid the true value of your skillful labor, and nothing less. But outside of your living means, if you give, you will have all that you need. Despite all their worries for their children, it’s easier to be like my selfless mom and my joyous wife. Even when you feel discouraged, encourage others; not only will their life get easier, yours will too.