Morning Cup of Joe – Hand Me Downs

The way things are today doesn’t mean that’s how they’ll stay, especially if you believe in a better tomorrow. When I was growing up, we did not have many resources. With eleven people in one household, the potential for plenty simply wasn’t there. We had to cut back on almost everything and make do with what we had. One major thing we cut back on was the purchase of clothing. My parents subscribed to the “hand-me-down” concept. This concept is perfectly fine if there are two, three maybe even four siblings but nine? I am sixth down the line and let’s just say by the time the clothes got down to me, they had served their full purpose and were ready to be retired but that didn’t stop my parents from passing them down to me.

Elementary school was the toughest because during the first day of school, every student had new shoes, new book bags, new clothes and new haircuts or hairstyles but not me. I had to recycle my clothes and wear them year after year earning the nickname “Holy Joe”. The imaginative and creative kids at my school called me “Holy Joe” because my school clothes doubled as my church clothes and they also had holes in them from being handed down and also from me participating in recreational activities.

Today, a majority of my clothes and suits are tailored especially for me. I did not allow an insignificant and out of my control event to dictate where I would end up. Although my clothes weren’t new, I thanked God daily for the clothes I did have. I remember feeling sorry for myself one day when the famous “ten cents a day can feed this child” commercial suddenly came on. I started thinking to myself I really don’t have anything to feel sorry about. I have a family who loves and cares for me, clothes to put on my back, food to eat and genuine friends who accept me for who I am.

Never overlook the important things in life like love from family and eternal relationships with true friends. How you start isn’t always how you’ll finish, that is totally up to you. Remain focused on how good things can be and watch as reality meets your thoughts. How you start isn’t always how you’ll finish.

To The Top!
Joe Paul


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