Its hard for me to believe that tonight is New Year's Eve! We all survived the end of the world and are headed towards a great 2013!
So have you made your New Year's resolution yet? I have. I actually have two New Year's resolutions for this year.
My first resolution is going to be to spend more time with my family and friends. I had a dear friend pass this year. He was in the prime of his life and died unexpectedly of a heart attach. It has made me realize how short and preciousness live really is.
My second resolution is to help somebody that I don't even know, and to teach them something new that will change their life for the better. I don't know exactly how I am going to do this, but I have a goal to do this in 2013.
I guess I decided on this because it happened to me twice in my life. The first time was when I ran out of gas and a stranger stopped to assist me. I had a part time job that didn't pay very well. It was 2 days before pay day and I didn't have money for gas. It was snowing out and I had my 2 month old daughter in the car. I was going to get diapers and hoped that I had enough gas in my tank to get to Walmart and back. I made it to Walmart, but ran out of gas going up a hill, about 5 miles from home. A kind man named Paul stopped to assist. I was so glad, because the car was starting to get really cold inside and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep my baby daughter warm. On the ride to the gas station, Paul made small talk and said he could remember being young without money, and the struggles that it presented. He said that everything changed when he graduated college and started his career. He explained the difference in a job and a career. I told him that my mother had always wanted me to finish college, but having a baby at such an early age and being a single parent had set me on a different path. He remained silent and reflective for a moment. The silence was deafening. He pulled the car in behind mine and got out to put the can of fuel into the gas tank. When he returned, I thanked him and began to exit. He said, "Becky, We've talked for a few moments. I don't really know you. But I do know that it is important for you to finish your college education for your daughter's sake. It will change your life and her's." I thanked him and hurried home.
Later that summer, I was struggling financially again. My welfare check was late and I literally had nothing to eat, and my power got cutoff. I went to the Salvation Army for help and was able to get some peanut butter, crackers, and a dozen jars of baby food. They said they could help get my power back on, but that it might take a few days. I didn't have anyone to stay with and it was over 100'F outside. I was worried about my baby daughter getting overheated without a fan. I started crying and a lady who was dropping off donations stopped to talk to me. She was very kind. Her name was Mrs. Montgomery. She said she would help with my power but that I would have to attend a free counselling class. I agreed and she had my power on within a couple of hours. As agreed, I showed up that evening at the community center and participated in her budget counselling class. I learned a lot from her and other members of her credit counseling staff. At the end of the session, each of the students got to speak privately with a counselor. I was surprised that she gave me the exact same advice that Paul had given me. She told me I needed to better myself and finish college. She helped me get a part time job at the hospital cleaning floors. It was a stable job and childcare was readily available. This stability let me attend college online. And as you already know, I was able to graduate.
When my dad was alive, he used to say that if you view your car's fuel gauge reading, when it says ½ full, as empty; you will never run out of gas. There is a lot of truth to that. For me, once I learned what empty was and how to fill the tank by getting my degree, the rest came easy. By focusing on my job as a point of stability and attending an online college, I was able to build a relationship with my employer. They watched me perform and mature. I developed trust. They were assured of my commitment and perseverance. Once I graduated, I went from cleaning the lab to actually working in it! My life struggles transitioned into a beautiful dream. And now I know that I will always be able to take care of my children.
My own transition from welfare to work has changed my outlook as well. I want to be a true blessing to everyone that I meet. I believe that we can build true wealth and a stable economy in America by helping others realize that a solid education and living within our means can shape a dependable future.
What is your New Year's resolution?
P.S. Grantham University is a great opportunity for those who need to work while they complete their higher education. I am sharing this testimonial video so you can see what Grantham graduates have to say.