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  • Lesson from a 16 year old
  • Maileen M

Lesson from a 16 year old

Lesson from a 16 year old

It always fascinated me where people get their inspiration from, whether it's quote, a saying, a story or even the sports field but for me, my inspiration comes from real, everyday, life events. Just this week both my 14 year old son and I were inspired by what happened when my friend sold his car.                                     

Selling a car is nothing extraordinary, it happens every day, hundreds of times a day and I'm sure what my friend experienced happens many times each and every day. The car was listed for sale in the usual places and after a week of views but no offers a man, his wife and 16 year old turned up to view the car. Now this car was not cheap, in fact it was a little flashy and sporty. When they turned up my friend assumed incorrectly that the car was either for the husband or the wife but no, they soon introduced the son as the purchaser. He was about to get his licence and they were looking for a car for him.

Now, this is when the usual assumptions kicked in for my friend, spoiled kid, wealthy parents, you know, the usual things we sometimes assume in these circumstances. That all changed however when the dad explained how the son was able to look at this car as his first. You see, the 16 year old boy had decided a couple of years ago, when he was just 14, that his first car was going to be special and give there was no way his parents were going to spend much money, if any, on a car for him then he had only one choice, earn the money he would need.

For two years this young man worked in any and every job he could find. He delivered papers, worked at a supermarket, cleaned cars, you name it, anything that would earn him a dollar. And he saved. He saved everything he could. Within two years he had earned enough to fulfill his dream and go and buy that car as soon as he got his licence, he even had enough to pay for the insurance. The parents beamed with pride as they told how they had come to this point, they also mentioned how, in spite, or maybe because, of this work he had also excelled at school.

They bought the car, paid in cash and drove away. My friend had sold his car but he had gained much more than the dollars from the sale. He realised that with all the bad press our teenagers get today about being lazy and about not planning for the future, that there are plenty of kids out there, and who knows, maybe the majority, that are willing to work hard to get what they want. That understand the value of a dollar and the need to save. That today's kids can be focused, dedicated and set high expectations for themselves. He also learned to not apply those typical prejudices when you see a youngster driving that nice car.

When my friend told my family what had only just happened it was like the proverbial light bulb going off in my son's head. Next thing I know he's looking for part time job's. He was inspired. As for me, I was not only inspired to reassess my own goals I was also feeling reassured. Reassured that our countries future was indeed in good hands, that there are plenty of good kids out there willing to work hard to make a difference. Maybe it's time we share more of these real life events to truly inspire.

  • Maileen M

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