I recently talked to a hardworking friend who is a pharmacist. In addition to his fulltime job, he frequently works part time when assistance is needed at other medical facilities. He is an immigrant who always has an infectious smile. Every time I see him he reminds me that this is the greatest country in the world.
It’s also his opinion that foreign born people who come to the U.S. often seem more appreciative than the native born of the opportunities America offers. In other words, many of those that were born and raised here take too much of our lifestyle for granted.
I firmly believe those who see an opportunity, work hard to take advantage of the opportunity and have sweat equity in their life’s journey tend to understand what a special place our country really is. We have the ability to educate, but the challenge may be how to motivate.
I have a photo on my desk of me as a child sitting on my foreign born grandfather’s lap. His education was minimal but his dedication to hard work was phenomenal. He and my father instilled that same work ethic in my siblings and me. We didn’t learn it from a book or in a class, it was taught by example.
Work was not just a job where you punched in and out on a time clock. It was a place where you could take pride in the work you were doing. Where you could be proud of yourself.
Fast forward to current times. Today, I’m the grandpa. And I’m proud to say that all my sons have the necessary inner drive and dedication to pass on the lesson of hard work to their families. Two of my young grandsons recently wanted to look for lost golf balls in the woods so they could sell them to golfers. I was delighted because it indicated that the drive and ambition to succeed continues to run in the family.
Times are a bit different today. There are thousands of job openings but not many people willing to fill them. Are they that comfortable? Do they not see the opportunities?
In 1929, our nation nearly collapsed during the Great Depression. Back then jobs were scarce and safety net benefits provided by Uncle Sam weren’t nearly as generous as today. In 1933, President Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC planted trees, built roads and trails and much more. It’s estimated that the program provided work for 3,000,000 people.
I’m not suggesting we bring back the CCC, but I believe those that participated learned far more about life and job skills than if they had just received a check in the mail.
July 4, 1776 was the date we declared our independence. Then in 1789 our Constitution was implemented. Our history is far from perfect, but there are also moments of extreme pride. We’ve evolved, but at the end of the day we’re fortunate to live in a place where we’re able to chase our dreams, earn a good paycheck and enjoy an incredible lifestyle.
Every time I see him, my pharmacist friend reminds me how fortunate we are to call America our home. As we observe the upcoming Fourth of July, I hope we are all reminded.
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Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.