Gumption

I went to high school with a guy who aspired to own a funeral home. He worked as a mortician’s apprentice after school. I know. Someone has to do it. At least in our culture.

They make money at it—lots of money. Believe it or not, some people can’t afford to die.

Someone has to pick up trash and clean sewers and pump septic tanks and dig ditches and hold warning signs in construction areas and a mop floors and roughneck on drilling rigs.

Having said all the above, the catering company that serviced my rig for the past 2 ½ years lost their contract. These were American men and women, mostly from southern Louisiana and Mississippi, who cooked and cleaned toilets and made beds and washed clothes and dishes. Menial? I suppose … unless you’re hungry and it’s the only job available at the moment. Then maybe it’s the bridge in the gap between what one has to do until something else arises. Sometimes it’s the only job one is qualified to perform. Then, it’s making a living.

They were replaced by a crew of Filipinos, from the Philippines, who, as mentioned in a previous rambling, call me Mr. Dabid. Go figure.

There is a huge difference in the quality of services provided by each catering company. The Americans walked around looking at their iPhones, checking social media sites. When they found a moment, they mopped, cooked, and washed clothes and dishes. Most, not all, had to be prodded to do what they’d agreed to do in the first place.

The Filipinos work. Work. Work. And they have a smile on their faces.

The Americans, my countrymen and women, had and still have all the opportunities to succeed this country has to offer, but they had/have no drive—no want to.

The Filipinos have little, if any, opportunities in their home country, but they possess the want-to.

Gumption is an outdated word. I heard it when I was a kid. “Boy, you got to have gumption!” or “Show some gumption and do the right thing!” or “Better find you some gumption!”

Seems like some Americans have lost their gumption.

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