A Drive that Cannot Be Extinguished

A Drive That Cannot Be Extinguished

“If you want it, you have to earn it.” These were words I heard my Mama and Daddy say often when I was growing up. I truly believe these words have shaped me into the woman that I am today. These words instilled in me a drive, that cannot be extinguished.

My entire life I was raised to work for whatever I wanted. If you want to win that softball game, you have to play hard to win it. If you want a car to drive you have work hard to pay for it. This simple life lesson over the years sometimes left me feeling angry. For example, when I would see my peers driving brand new vehicles their parents had just given them, I can recall thinking it was so unfair, and it must be nice to have such giving parents. Or while my friends were out having a good time on a Friday night cruising Wards Road, I was stuck at the local Food Lion earning a paycheck. My friends seem to brag about the new shoes they wore, the cool car they drove, and their new cell phone that just received, while I was balancing my checkbook to make sure I had put enough money aside to pay my car insurance.

When I was about to graduate high school my parents purchased my brother and I each a small baby calf. We were instructed to bottle feed the calf until it was old enough to be put out to pasture. At that time we would move the calf to a friend’s farm. Once the calf was move to the farm, we would repay this friend for the use of his pasture by assisting with hay season when it came around.  We were to be there to assist in rounding up hay and staking it in the barn. My parents were not wealthy, so they explained that once these cows were old enough we could sell them at the livestock market. The money we would make could be put towards college, vocational courses, or whatever our hearts desired.  Now most of my friends were getting checks, cash, or fancy new cars as graduation gifts. When my friends found out I had received a cow as a graduation gift, they thought it was a joke. But little did they know that cow would land me over five hundred dollars at the market.

I can honestly say I’m incredibly thankful for my parents and the way they raised me, as it prepared me for real life. I believe their words, “if you want it, you have to earn it” gave me a drive to work hard, to do my best, to never give up, and to succeed in life. As an adult I feel as though I’m the richest kid in the world for all of the values that my parents have instilled in me. I have kids of my own now, and I find myself recalling some of my parents’ lessons and sharing them with my kids. I believe if I can share these same lessons with my children they will also develop a drive that can’t be extinguished.