In America, we have people working for McDonald’s demanding $15 an hour to do something that can be replaced by a computer… only to then ask to have their hours cut so that they don’t lose their government assistance. Would you like slothfulness with that? For only several more an hour, you can super-size that unemployment line, sir.
In South Africa? You have this guy. A homeless man who turned himself into an veritable entrepreneur.
“I left my job and couldn’t afford rent anymore – I lost everything. While living on the streets I noticed how many beggars there were getting money for nothing on street corners. I thought I could be different and actually give people something worthwhile – like a book or book review – in exchange for money.”
So he started selling books on the streets – but only after he had read them and could offer passers by a detailed review.
He’d even adjust the price depending on how he rated each book – from 10 South African Rand (less than US $1) for those he didn’t enjoy, up to 80 Rand (US $6) for his favourites. He soon became known as the ‘Pavement Bookworm’ and his small business took off.
Yes, this South African homeless man annihilated the widely-accepted liberal myth that you can’t survive on your own without the government propping you up while simultaneously taking away from others to do so. With drive and work ethic, he changed his situation.
Do people sometimes need help? Of course. But first it’s necessary to help yourself, to believe in your abilities, to do your best. No matter what your situation in life, no matter where you are, you always have a choice. You can always improve something.
“With some self-motivation and a lot of self-help books, I made the decision to stop taking drugs. But while I was helping myself I also wanted to help the other people I had been living on the streets with. So I started using the money I got from selling books to buy everyone soup and bread everyday instead of spending that money on drugs. Seeing their smiles motivated me to keep using the little I had to spread happiness. From that point on, I knew I never wanted to go back to being a drug addict.”
Thank you. We needed this today.