As I make my way through the wonderful book A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Dunn, I am humbled by much of the research that is presented.
It can be really easy to believe all of the success that I have had in life has come from my hard work and “pulling myself up by the bootstraps” as the saying goes. Much of the success I have had in life, believe it or not, is correlated heavily with the first two years of my life.
In those first 2 years, I was breast fed, vaccinated, and had access to good health care. I was talked to, read to, exposed to music, and was consistently in a social and friendly environment.
In the years that followed, there were many, many books surrounding me that I was encouraged to read. This was vital. My mother and father were able to provide all of this for me. And provide they did; it was their pleasure.
It could have gone much different.
There are many born to single parent households, in which that single parent must struggle to make ends meet. Working endless hours to pay the rent and put food on the table, the children may not get talked to, read to, nor exposed to enriching experiences that have become a significant indicator to the future success of that child.
We sometimes are too quick to judge others as lazy, incapable, or moochers of society. It costs society so much less to offer people the resources they need in order to provide these experiences for their children.
Mother’s Day last month and Father’s Day next week has got me thinking about those first two years. The gratitude I have is high, and will be with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you, mom. Thank you, dad. Today is also my dad’s birthday, so an extra wish for him, too.