It was core, but there was more

My grandfather was a campesino in Mexico. He worked the land and his children worked beside him all of his life. He worked hard. He worked all of his life. What my grandfather often said, “Work is your best friend. It’ll be the only one that vouches for you.” He taught me that hard work was a core value and that has left an impression in my life and I know that I’ve inherited that work ethic and feel very proud of it. What he taught me about work was also that it was only part of his life, not all of it. Mi abuelo aprendio a leer a los 17 an~os. That’s right…he learned to read at 17 years of age and in fact mostly taught himself. And while he was an avid reader he was never able to write fluently. He read. He read anything that he could get his hands on and especially history books. Work dominated his life, but still he found space and time to learn to read. Work was what he needed to support his family; work was what he needed to buy medicines for his cancer stricken wife; work was what allowed him to hold his communities respect; but reading…that he did for himself. I work hard. I do. I come from a campesino grandfather and farm worker parents, I know hard work and I work hard every day. Reading – that’s what I do for myself and my grandfather taught me about both.