My family consisted of the humble lower income social class, a family of six who lived in a small apartment complex located in the Bronx, NY. My father’s income did not stretch far enough to be able to provide us with both our primary needs for survival and leisurely secondary needs. That meant that our leisure needs were sacrificed. My siblings and I could not purchase a pair of sneakers that would exceed the value of $50 because my father just could not afford it.
One day I witnessed an action that filled me with anger, sadness and, at the same time, courage. As the eldest child, I seemed to be the one who gave the most sacrifices and took on the most neglect. I witnessed my father purchasing a new pair of sneakers that had a value price well over the family budget price rule of $50 dollars for all of my younger siblings. As a child, this action made me question, “Why can they get a new fancy pair of sneakers and I can’t and didn’t?” This action can generate an emotional response that is hard for a child to comprehend. I know because I didn’t. I now thank my father for that action because it gave me the push, courage and strength to go out into the real world at my young childhood age and work for the opportunity to one day afford a pair of sneakers that cost well over the $50 dollar family budget price rule on my own.
To this day I’m not sure if I understand the emotion I felt as a child, but I did learn to understand what it meant to go out and work for what you want instead of waiting for it to happen on its own.