Amazing Things Can Happen

Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen. - Conan O'Brien

The Quote says that amazing things will happen under the conditions given and I can attest to the truth of that.

When I was just a kid in school, my teachers were always telling me, “If you work hard and treat other people kindly, there is no limit to what you can achieve for yourself and others.”

I needed to hear that because I was from a very poor family, lived in a ramshackle old dilapidated house, had the cheapest clothes money could buy and ate a bare subsistence diet of mostly carbohydrates.

Another thing my teachers were always telling me was that in America everybody has the same chance as success as everybody else and that honesty is always the best policy.

So, when I finally got jobs, I always gave them everything I had … I worked as hard as I could … I strove to work harder than anybody else around me … I sacrificed endless hours of personal time to benefit the job and the employers whenever asked and whenever possible … usually without extra pay. I did it for the sake of having pride in my jobs. I got a lot of complimentary remarks from my bosses but little or no extra pay unless I remained in their employee for a long enough time to prove my undying devotion to them.

Regardless of the amount of work I did … and a lot of it was strenuous hard physical labor — exhausting, body-wasting physical toil —I was usually passed over for opportunities to advance because of somebody else who was more skilled at kissing the rear ends of the employers were. It began to seem to me like perfecting the art of “Ass Kissing” would be something to consider seeing as how it was so effective toward benefiting others who practiced it well and regularly.

I resisted this temptation for years.

And I learned a lot about “Honesty Is The Best Policy” too.

I learned that if you were honest about making mistakes on the job you were liable to get fired. I learned that the more honest I tried to be, the more dishonest I discovered other people to be. It started to become obvious early on that the dishonest ones were the ones doing the succeeding in life and it was the honest ones who were being held back, put down or ignored altogether when time came for the goodies to be handed out.

Later in life, it dawned on me that the key to success was not so much working very hard to please other people myself but that the key to success would be in getting to the point where I could have other people doing the heavy lifting for me and profiting from their labors while giving them the very least return on their efforts that the market would allow while still projecting the vision of myself as friend and benefactor.

That is when I learned that a little kindness, a little empathy, a little sympathy, a pat on the back, a compliment or encouraging word was excellent currency for forging the kind of relationship needed to allow me to freely and aggressively mine the skills and talents of others willing to sail on my ship with me.

In any employer-employee relationship, every nuance of emotion can be an asset with a price attached. A random, caring smile flashed at a worker sweating on their job can cause that worker to produce extra results from their work thus fattening the bottom line of the business person or the supervisor who flashed the smile.

It is the worker-friendly entrepreneur who can most often and most easily get his or her labor force to accept raises of cents per hour during contract negotiations rather than having to squander dollars per hour to soothe the chronically aggrieved.

While I was working hard for other people, I never made more than a little over $40-thousand dollars a year. It was only after I learned the secret of leveraging loans and getting other people to work for me in my own enterprise that I got to the point where I had a Million Dollar credit rating and a carload of cash in the banks.

The hardest lesson I think I ever learned was that it is impossible to enjoy the finest things in life by wasting all my life working hard for somebody else, living off the phantom joy of knowing that I was pleasing somebody else with my labors when the real rewards were flowing to the risk takers, the entrepreneurs and those who were in a position to command the labors of others.

It was after this lesson sunk in sufficiently that I made the decision to become a baron rather than a serf — I made the decision to take the risk, to borrow the money, to start the business …to fail once or twice but to get up, shake the dust off the wrecks I had made, forge determinedly ahead until at last I finally got it right. This kind of move takes determined, unshakeable, stubborn faith but once a person gets to the point of that kind of faith, then that person becomes an immovable object plunging through the atmosphere of unlimited opportunity.


As I sat down to breakfast this morning, I determined (Purposed) to abide by the cereal manufacturer’s recommended serving size. The cereal was shredded wheat in bite-sized pieces. The recommended serving is 22 biscuits of the cereal with 1/2 cup of milk. The label on the cereal box claims there are 18 servings in the entire package. I doubt that there are 18 servings in that small box in which the cereal is packaged. I am not going to sit and count the servings out either.

So I had my 22 biscuits of cold shredded what cereal with 1/2 cup of milk sloshed onto it and the accounts for 240 calories for breakfast. I will wait and see whether or not I starve to death by lunch time. Lunch today (If I live that long) is going to be New York Strip steak with steamed potato chunks. The potato chunks will be garnished with parsley and sour cream plus a dab of actual dairy butter. I think oleomargarine sucks as a potato topping.

Talking about package size and their supposed contents — I notice that the frozen spinach I have been purchasing claims to have two cups of spinach inside each of their packages. On measuring the contents of one of those packages out for myself, I discovered that the claimed amount of Two cups had, somehow, shrunk to One and a Half Cups. I can now understand how easy it is for some manufacturers to pull the wool over their customers’ eyes without the un-observant customers ever being the wiser.


This has been a day of new realizations, intensified observations and updated realizations for me. Walking around the various retail stores this morning — in times when the health restrictions concerning covid 19 have all been lifted —- it dawned on me, “Americans, on the whole, are an ugly lot!” This ugliness of the so-called “Average” American (The kind who don’t seem to bathe all that much or who do not take much pride in their personal appearances — which accounts for an awfully lot of people) have been masked up until now and it became easy to forget what most people actually look like. This morning was a sad awakening for me. Considering how unkempt the ordinary American is these days and considering their personal habits, I have concluded that they are, on the whole, a filthy bunch and who knows what kind of sickness and disease they are capable of spreading. So the upshot of this revelation is that when I have no choice but to be in the midst of a bunch of strangers, I am going to continue to wear a mask … not to protect myself against the pandemic so much as to protect myself from whatever unseen germ or virus clinging to these untidy individuals.


2 thoughts on “Amazing Things Can Happen

  1. After ten years in various jobs, I decided that if I was going to spend the rest of my life working for a salary, I would at least do something wothwhile. I became an EMT on low wages, but got genuine satisfaction from that job. I never got rich of course, but our house is paid off, and we have enough each month to live as we want to.
    That’s good enough for me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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