When I was very young, my mother would walk with my sister and me from our house on Stenton Avenue to a church-school on Germantown Avenue. I googled it and the walk was 1.5 miles, about 30 minutes. Now when I think about it, it was quite a long walk. Back then though, when we didn’t have any other way to get there, it didn’t even matter how long the walk was. There was only one way to get there.
Once, SEPTA (the public transportation company on Philadelphia) was on strike and my boss at Friendly’s restaurant called my house. She was short on staff and wanted to see if I could come in and work a shift. At 16 years old, I surely could have used the money, but I didn’t have a car and my job was a good hour away. I wasn’t walking that far. My mom suggested, though, that I offer my manager to meet me at a point that was about 45 minutes walking from my house and my manger could drive me the rest of the way.
I did it and made it to work to earn my $5.45/hour pay for a shift.
Sometimes we forget about the times when we didn’t have so many luxuries, and we had to walk our way, figuratively speaking, to getting things done. Back then there were no other options, thus, nothing to complain about.
Complaining usually comes from us comparing our situation to what we think could make things easier. I have to work when I could be out partying. I have to practice on an outdoor court when other people have indoor gyms. I make $30,000 while someone else makes $100,000.But when there is nothing to compare to — only one way to make it happen — we lace up our shoes and get to walking.
I’ll bet that your greatest life accomplishment happened when you didn’t have options to compare or complain about — One way in and one way out.