Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Job

Tommy walks up to our table and waits, careful not to disrupt our conversation. His white apron draped over black pants enters my field of vision. I excuse myself from our conversation and look up.

Tommy stands at attention, his order pad in one hand, his pen in the other.

Mr Tumenoska, may I say something to you?

It doesn't take many words for you to know that Tommy's from Southie.

Sure Tommy, what would like to say?

I just wanted you to know that I think you did a very good job raising Eila.

Eila and Tommy work together at a popular Harvard Square restaurant. They're both twenty-two and Eila was just promoted to manager."

Thank's Tommy. Why do you think so?

Uh... Well first of all, she's a very honest person. She doesn't hide what she thinks or talk behind your back. She's the kind of person you can really trust.

I agree, Tommy. With Eila what you see is what you get.

Also, she's a very fair person and she never gets angry or mean.

Anything else?

Yeah. She's like, always happy.

I agree with you Tommy. Eila's a pretty remarkable person, though I'm not sure how much I had to do with it.

Well, take it from me Mister T, you did a good job.

Of course, if you were ask Eila, she'd give you a different take on the situation. I remember people asking her questions like, "What did your parents do that caused you to be turn out like you did?"

Eila's response was always something like, "Nothing! I'm the way I am because that's who I decided to be . My parents didn't do it; I did!"

In the grand discussion of nature versus nurture, there's a missing ingredient: will. One might say that a child's will is in his nature; one could argue that it's developed through nurture. However, it's hard to take something as influential in the development process as a child's will and make it a byproduct rather than a causal factor.

At the end of the day, we are each the person we decide to be.

Happy Tuesday,

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