These lessons followed me to college in St. Louis and Beijing and then law school in East Lansing and Hong Kong. (Can anybody guess who paid for my schooling?) When it finally came time to apply these lessons in real life and enter the work force, I soon realized I was very well-equipped with the tools to compete with others from all over the world and from all walks of life (“wax on, wax off” finally clicked). I realized winners start earlier, work longer, prepare better, read it twice and humbly admit shortcomings and then adjust accordingly to improve.
I’ve been “sized up” everywhere I’ve been along the way and sometimes dismissed by those who come from privilege or consider themselves better because of where they are from (lesson #816: it is not bad to be underestimated). After all, what does anybody from rural St. Joseph County, Michigan know? Well they know everything I do because they are my playmates, neighbors, classmates, friends and co-workers and we all grew up right here together learning the same lessons in this great little community.
And now with the same humility, I ask for your help in earning the next prize: the position of Prosecutor where I will work for you and law enforcement to improve the broken side of our local criminal justice system, applying everything I’ve learned, using all of the tools I’ve collected along the way starting with sharing rides on the yellow banana seat to dressing appropriately for work at the Exchange Square building in Hong Kong; from managing the office and staff as Director of Operations of a national consulting firm to punching in on time at McDonald’s and working hard to match the intensity of the men I respected and worked for in the factory at Armstrong (ask me about Sag Kinney sometime).
I promise I will be a devoted servant and hard worker and that promise will not be difficult to keep because that’s already what I do and who I am. That’s who a lot of us are around here.