It is around this time in my life that people are moving out of the post-college transition and are making headway in their respective fields. Most are happy that success is in within grasp and relieved that the struggle is over. Others had no struggle at all and success has always been a given as they have sailed through life this far with no major setbacks. But there are some lessons in life only the struggle can teach.
I’ve always said I never wanted to be with a man that has never known what being broke feels like. There are serious life coping skills that come having only a dollar to your name. Here are the lessons I think the struggle teaches:
1) To be compassionate. If you have always had everything you needed, it is hard for you to be compassionate toward those that need a helping hand. These people tend to think the system is fair and their taxes shouldn’t go to help others and thus become Republicans. However, it is the man that picks up an extra sandwich for the homeless man outside that wins my heart.
2) Lose that sense of entitlement. After a while of good things coming your way, it is hard not to feel like success is a given. However, good things require hard work and even then our efforts can be futile. In the struggle, you find there are no shortcuts to long-term success. And in every set back, there are the valuable lessons of how to be more effective and more efficient in pursuit of greatness.
3) Learn how to make do. This one is most important to me in a man because everything may not always be in abundance and I need for you to be able to make do. Every night there might not be shrimp and steaks, some nights there may only be an 8-piece and fries and I need you to be okay with that and not flip out. I’ve seen one too many recession stories of a man taking his whole family out before killing himself after he lost his job. I don’t have time to be dying because you can’t handle the idea of moving back to the hood.
4) Find a way to have a good time anyway. Speaking of the hood, everyone knows the hood has the best parties, hands down. There are no fancy dresses or tuxes, no champagne with chocolate fondue fountains, and no live ensembles. All you need to have a good time is some music, some red Solo cups, and a few friends that can appreciate a good time without the bougieness.