The fact that I didn’t pay much attention in classes; do most of the homework or read the assignments was not the fault of the teachers, which seems to be the popular consensus these days. That was my fault.
As a child—after my parents climbed out of poverty—I took Christmas for granted and expected a huge pile of wrapped gifts under the tree for me and my cousins the morning of December 25. And as I eagerly tore into the gifts revealing the latest popular toys and gadgets, I never asked what I had done to deserve them.
Decades later, as I reflect, I don’t think reluctantly dragging a trash can to the curb—rare for me as a child—or doing a half-ass job cutting the lawn or the one time I weeded my mother’s flower garden counts. And I never washed the dishes or helped clean the house. It was as if my parents had elected themselves to be my slaves and servants.
Then when I was 15 and wanted a part-time job washing dishes in a coffee shop, my father argued with me to stay home; focus on…
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