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The American Dream Quote of the Day

Benjamin Carson

Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Benjamin Carson: My mother worked as a domestic, two, sometimes three jobs at a time because she didn't want to be on welfare. She felt very strongly that if she gave up and went on welfare, that she would give up control of her life and of our lives, and I think she was probably correct about that. And, so she worked very hard. Sometimes we didn't see her for several days at a time, because she would go to work at five in the morning and get back after 11:00 p.m., going from one job to the next. But, one thing that she provided us was a tremendous example of what hard work is like, and she was also extremely thrifty. She would go to the Goodwill, she'd get a shirt that had a hole and put a patch on it and put another one on the other side to make it look symmetrical, and she sewed her own clothes. She would take us out in the country on a Sunday and knock on a farmer's door and say, "Can we pick four bushels of corn, three for you and one for us?" and they were always glad at that deal. And she'd come home and she'd can the stuff, so that we would have food. She was just extremely thrifty and managed to get by that way. No one ever could quite figure out how she was able to do what she did. She would drive a car until it fell apart, and then she would buy a new car because she saved every dime and every nickel, stuck it under the mattress, and when it came time, years later, to buy a new car, she could do it. And, the neighbors said "What is it with this woman? What is she doing?" Because our mother was a very attractive woman and they figured, you know, she was selling her body and doing all kinds of things like that. But in fact, she had to endure that kind of ridicule, as well as work extremely hard. But, she figured it would pay off in the long run.
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