I started out with NOTHING in this life other than a defiant flippant attitude. When I wanted a college education, I did not have nobody to help me. There was days I would go to class wearing gloves. I had to. Otherwise I would bleed all over my work and my table area. I dug ditches for irrigation by hand with a pick and shovel early in the morning. I had blisters on top of blisters. I did what ever job I could get my hands on to make a buck. As mentioned, I shoveled horse stalls. Now shoveling horse shit aint much, but, it is good honest work. If there was a dime to be made, I was there. When I found out the local diner was looking for a few vending machines, I worked my ass off, gathered my savings, and purchased used cigarette machines and candy vending machines. And I made about 20 bucks a week from that income. (Lots of cash.. for back then. Hey, it helped get me through college) If I made a dime, it was never wasted. It went to make more dimes. I did not go out and party with my friends in college. Nope. I worked. I had a few good times, don't get me wrong. I did not have nobody paying my way through school other than my own bloody hands and my own broken back. From picking fruit to working as a security guard to being a test dummy for various labs. I did all I had to do to get by. Don't talk to me about hard work. I earned every last red cent I have. I know all about hard work. I have lived on my own since I was 13 years of age. I clawed and scrapped and made it in a world that was back then, and even today, not friendly to minorities.
When I had my shot, I took it. There was no loophole. There was no "Oh wow I can slide through life for free" feeling or none of that bull crap. I knew I did not get a fair shake coming into this world and by God I had a chance to make my own fair shake and I took it. When most of the people I knew who were becoming something better, they went out and bought new cars. Houses. Boats. Expensive clothing. They lived beyond their means. They dropped so deeply into debt it was impossible to get out. And it broke most of them. I owned a lousy bicycle most of the time. I dressed in patched up rags scavenged from thrift shops. I kept my tiny little hole in the wall apartment for years. I was not going to allow my self to make a mistake. I had seen what would happen. Hell, the people I rented to had better homes than I did, and, many of them wondered why their landlord would live in such a roach infested dump. When they would ask, I would tell them. And they respected me.
The college years were the worst. I hate thinking about those years. I was forced to make horrible decisions like... Do I want to buy that book I need or do I want to eat today? Well I need the book... I can eat tommorow. Then the next day would come and there was something else I was needing. Life SUCKED HARDCORE back then.
I realized, working for all those people, that I was making them money and not doing a damn thing to get my own self ahead. There was no feeling of selfishness in this thought. I had nothing. And unless I did something to change that, it was going to stay that way. I got sick of working for other people. All my back breaking sweaty labor was not getting me anywhere soon. I knew that I had to make a break for my self. I did not know what at the time, but, if I did not do it soon, I was going to get stuck in a position of "enough to get by, never enough to get out." And thinking of that scared the piss outa me. Oddly enough, I was not motivated by greed. I was motivated by having a piss poor childhood and knowing how hard it was for minorities to catch a break. I became determined that I was not going to be a statistic. I was not going to fall into any sort of racial stereotype. IE, drunken indian living on the dole. Screw that. So I worked my ass off, I ate beanie weanies when I could afford a can, and I plotted.
By sheer luck I had the job of my dreams. It allowed me to do my real work. I buried my self in the civil rights movement. My unusual job allowed me to go out and answer my true calling. When I needed cash, it was always there waiting for me. Working my own hours meant I could give what I felt needed to be given to this world with no cares of a job tying me down. When others were out enjoying the fruits of their labours and pissing their life away by squandering every dime that came their way, I was finding what it was like to live. My money was used for good purposes. By being able to rent out properties I was able to give people who would normally have no shot at getting a decent house something that they had dreamed of. When I would close a deal with a buyer who could not find anybody that would sell or rent to them because of their colour I was making the world a better place. I found a way to not only make my work serve me, but, also serve others. I was not the only one getting kickbacks.
I worked damn hard to carve out my own little spot in the world. Please don't say otherwise. You have no idea how much it took to get where I am today. I have overcome racism, impossible odds, poverty, ignorance, and what seemed like the whole damn world against me for what seemed like a long long time. Everything I have was bought with sweat, blood, and tears. Even if I lost everything, the most important thing I would keep. The dignity I have earned for my self. My self respect. The fact of knowing, I beat the odds.