If you think you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps with a little luck, and a lot of hard work, then you don’t know about one of my favorite economics professors: Walter Williams. This book over and over reminded me of reading Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery. (You think there might be a play on that title working here?) From the Philadelphia housing projects to driving a cab, to military service, to academia – over and over – Williams proves he has the grit to keep moving forward. This book was fantastic.
Two of my favorite quotes:
The best advice I can offer is that given to me by my stepfather. A lot of life, he used to tell me, is luck and chance, and you never know when the opportunity train is going to come along. He said that if and when it comes, don’t be in the position of saying, “Wait! Let me go and pack my bag.” Be packed and ready to hop on board.
Finally, so much of what I’ve accomplished has stemmed from the immeasurable assistance of two ladies in my life. The first is my mother, a determined, disciplined woman who made personal sacrifices as she struggled to raise my sister and me. She was uncompromising in her expectations, and she instilled in us a sense of independence and the desire for a better life. The other lady is my wife, who shared my vision and through diligence, patience, and love managed to polish off many of my rough edges.