\"\"The one thing that gives me some stability in my life is that some things remain the same.  I’m very thankful that I have a job to go to every day, that I have a place to live and food to eat.  There are times when I take these things for granted. It’s not until I see someone who’s homeless or someone digging out of a garbage can that it becomes clear how blessed I really am.

As positive parents, both my dad and my mom kept reminding us that it is just a hairline that separates us from being THOSE people.  They would show us the stories in the newspaper of people who, through no fault of their own, lost it all.  These people became victim to a variety of circumstances.  In those articles it could be seen that these were hard working people. The only thing they did was cross that hairline and that’s what changed their lives. 

My parents would have us envision how our lives would be if we were wearing THOSE shoes.  They wanted us to see that our lives could be a lot different than what it is at present.

They talked about how those consistent things were not only a good thing but, they were also a blessing. It’s a blessing to have a job, a place to live and food to eat.  Like most kids, mine have a great deal more. When I include cable television, video games, cell phones, etc., it’s even more of a reason to be thankful. 

When the opportunity availed itself, my parents would always share with us the follow up stories about some of those people. In some cases there were success stories, in others there were stories of continued struggles.  In each of these stories it was clear that all of these people were working hard to change their situation.

I do the best I can to pass on to my kids that it is hard work that defines who we are.  It’s this hard work that builds character.  There are times when any one of us could be on either side of this hairline but it is through hard work and a continued faith that we can become useful members of society.


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