A few weeks ago I was setting up a store at a big horse show and happened to notice the family setting up their booth next to me. They were an African-American family; father, mother and six kids, working diligently to get their huge store up and running. I noticed their professional demeanor, everyone was dressed in matching polo shirts printed with their store logo. No one was sitting around looking at a screen, they all had a specific job relating to the set up of the store all the way down to the youngest boy who was diligently sweeping to keep everything clean while they arranged items and finished their displays.
Spending three, 12-hour days sitting next to each other I naturally spent a fair amount of time talking with their mother. She told me that her and her husband grew up in families that were very poor yet proud that they never took one dime of assistance no matter how hard things got. She went on to say that they did not want their children to have a hard life so they started this business for them to show them that they alone could change their circumstances in life and if they worked hard and stuck with it they could achieve any goal they desired. Needless to say, I was pretty blown away by the entire experience.
Doing this for their children is not an easy task. Her husband works a full-time job and just recently received a promotion. She home schools all six children and then after a long week they pack their large box truck and head out to a show to set up their store for the weekend. They work all weekend long, pack up and return home to start a new week. The children are polite, well-spoken, mannerly, look you in the eye and shake your hand. They will pitch in and do whatever needs to be done. It is amazing to watch the family at work.
I learned that they had to buy things slowly, over time to be able to afford their inventory. Some of the items are made by the older children and as the business grows they add more inventory. What got me the most was her comments about understanding the prejudice regarding her sons; that is why she insists that her boys look you in the eye, shake your hand, be polite and respectful and engaging so that people get the right impression. She knows that have to be a bit more concerned with this because of the prejudice that is sometimes attached to young African American males, but she's ok with that. It is what it is but feels that the only way to change this stereotype is one person at a time. She also knows that when she goes into a grocery store and someone sees her with her six children that they think; "Oh here comes another mother on the system!" She takes it all in stride and doesn't let it deter her from her goal. She has even been told buy her own extended family that she is just trying to be white. None of it matters. What I loved the most was her comment that giving away free phones and all kinds of assistance does nothing but breed laziness and more poverty. Government freebies do not elevate people in her opinion and she should know, she has seen it day in and day out all throughout her life. In her mind the only way to work your way out of poverty is to work!
This family is the epitome of the true American Spirit. This family is exceptionalism with a capital "E". They are a god-fearing family with good values and a work ethic that surpasses most people I know. They are willing to make sacrifices to change their circumstances. These values are what made our country great. Capitalism and the ability to start a business or do anything in life that you choose is how this county became what it is today. I don't care what color your skin is, human nature thrives when we are productive. This family is an example to all who desire a better life. It is possible if you work hard, have faith and don't give up.
It was an honor to meet them. It has restored my faith in the human spirit. I will never forget them, nor will I ever be the same. They are an example to each and every one of us that we can live our life anyway that we choose. They have chosen to take the high road in life, no complaints, no excuses, just action! Get out and make it count! Brings tears to my eyes. God Bless this family and their true American spirit!
Love it! Like it! and please Share It!
The Princess Rancher