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When I was fifteen years old, I was a total social misfit in school. I got along great with older kids and adults, but simply could not cope with my classmates. My mom was furious when I told her I was dropping out of school, but knew I would not attend if I did not want to. While in fact, I did not cope well in the classroom, it was a very foolish move on my part.
My mom must have seen that it was imperative that I learn to work, and instilled that in me from an early age, and while I had held part-time jobs from the age of 11, on hearing I was going to drop out, she told me if I wanted to remain living in her household that I had to work and pay rent.
I got a job at a cafe, and held a variety of restaurant and food-service jobs for the next 10 or so years, including as a manager. I had not possessed the fortitude or dedication to remain in high school, but apparently liked the working world just fine.
Also, when I was in my tweens, I loved to play the piano, but never applied myself to lessons, but later, when wanting to be an actor, I studied for five years, culminating in a job for a large theater company where I had a salary and benefits & all.
I think God writes things on our hearts that stay with us, and if we are required to do good things at a young age, they shape us in ways that are difficult to break. If bad habits die hard, then so, fortunately, do good ones.
I hope if you have children that you can instill in them the values that I received as a child: the love of kind people which inspired me to show love to others, and the mandate & desire to work.
There are many other values however, that are important in this world. I am still trying to teach myself disciplines that are important, but when you start young, the blueprints do have a way of staying with you and the die’s cast are strong. I wish that I had applied more self-discipline over my rough road, but am glad God was gracious in giving me a strong work ethic.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.