Shelly's Roots

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the saying that someone “was born with a silver spoon in their mouth,”...

meaning that the person referred to is somehow privileged or had an advantage that he or she did not earn. I suppose that there were advantages to being born into a “typical” middle-class Midwestern US family, but I never felt particularly privileged.

I came from a family with two loving parents and lived in a comfortable house with clothes on my back and food in my belly and an opportunity for education. There was not a lot of “extra,” but there was certainly enough of the basics required to live. You could say that I was born “with a spoon in my mouth,” but I’d call it stainless steel rather than silver.

Which brings thoughts of those who were born with something less than a spoon. Mind you, I’m all about working to support yourself and improve your position in life. Handouts, no (I drive right by the street-corner beggars). Hand-ups? Yes, by all means. I might give you a fish one day, but the next day we’re going to start working on your rod and reel and your tackle box so that you learn to feed yourself.

My wife, Rochelle Forrest Hankins, spent her adolescent years not five miles from my home – we attended the same junior high and high school – but her background was, shall we say, less stable than mine. Loving parents? Absolutely. But opportunity? Only to the extent that she was willing to work hard to develop her own. Shelly, as I call her, began working to earn her own money and buy her own school clothes by the time she was 12 years old . . .

Continue reading on Shelly's Adventure Blog.

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