When I was admitted into university, with a scholarship (I received a full scholarship to one and a partial scholarship to another) my father said to me, “Don’t think by going to university you are any better than the rest of us.”
By us, he meant my immediate family. I was 18, and for two years prior I had been consistently working 44 hours a week at Tim Horton’s and IGA (as a produce clerk) to save enough money to live in residence.
I would wake at 5:00 in the morning to drive my delinquent brother to his factory job in Milton. We lived in Brampton so this was a 30 minute drive to and from. I had to do it because he had lost his driver’s licence in multiple DUIs. Then I’d rush home, change into my school uniform, head to school, finish school, drive back to Milton to pick him up, drive him back home, then change into my work uniform(s) and work until 11:00 at night, then go home and do my homework and study.
I never complained because I wanted freedom so bad. As I said, I did this for two years, five days a week, sometimes six. I didn’t have a lot of time for a social life, and I didn’t much like teenagers anyway, because I thought they were stupid.
Looking back on that time, how hard it was, a gay kid, bullied at school and at home for being himself, and you would think I’d have some self-pity, but I don’t.
At 42 I now realize how that truly built my character, and made me the strong person I am today. I wasn’t coddled that’s for sure.
I wonder if kids these days understand that they’re not entitled to a good life, they have to work for it. You’re not always going to be placed in ideal circumstances and you have to make the most of what you have.
The youths, as I like to refer to them, have no real understanding of what it’s like to go without. There’s an expectation that they get what they want, and to be told ‘no’ is oppression, based on the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, or whatever minority status they cling to.
How would they handle anything outside of these progressive nations that have provided them with so much privilege? Privilege that was fought for them by those who went without. And yet they shit on these nations they live in, because ther leaders made mistakes in the past.
Not sure if they’ll ever reflect and see how good they have it. I’m not sure what that means for their future, or mine even.
But I can state rather confidently, that it won’t be anything good.