Never Settle for Hotdogs

January 07 2015

Here's my obligatory sentence about being humbled and honored to write to this fine list of subscribers. May I add that I often thought this system was rigged? Many lottery winners seemed intimidatingly poignant and I assumed winners flaked out, forcing the creators to scramble to find excerpts from long-forgotten philosophy textbooks and angsty tumblrs.

Anyway, I now have more faith in the list and am very real and very much from Southern Indiana. My name is Bradley and I want to share with you a sentiment I seem to repeat a lot in my personal and professional life.

My father always enjoyed using analogies when explaining things to me. He always, like the good father he is, prodded me to do bigger and better things. One of my favorite analogies that I tend to share is about dating. When I was in high-school, I always wondered if the girl I was currently dating was "the one." I came to my father with this and he immediately asked me if I liked hotdogs. I of course responded that I did and didn't understand how this was pertinent to my question. He then asked me if I liked steak. And, again, I told him I did. He then explained that many people go through life eating and enjoying hotdogs while there is uneaten steak all around us. As cheesy as it sounded, I really began to understand what he was saying and never stopped thinking about it in this manner. I began to second guess every single thing I was doing, hoping it wasn't hotdoggian in nature.

I work as a counselor at Job Corps. For those who aren't familiar, 16-24 year olds from all over the country are given a federally funded scholarship to get their high-school diploma and a trade of some sort. It is very common for 22 year olds to arrive on center with the reading and math ability of a 2nd grader, no concept of money or discipline, and no place to call home. Despite the incredible opportunity, a very large % of students leave the center and go back to living at home, unemployed and uneducated, eating allegorical hotdogs. My job is to beg and plead them not to do so. If they just give the program even 6 months, they could change their lives and future generations' lives. Unfortunately, I lose this argument more than I win it, and I'm a pretty persuasive guy.

I also tend to see my peers marry into loveless relationships. It's what they're used to, what they know. I beg and plead with them to break things off, try some steak! I'm often looked at like some lunatic, because we aren't supposed to tell people to break a loveless relationship, especially when it isn't hurting anybody. As long as there isn't rampant drug activity and physical abuse, we allow our loved ones to commit their lives to soul-sucking monsters. We let our incredibly bright peers stay at a job that is beneath them.

Break up with your awful significant other, go back to school, quit your job, buy a plane ticket, take a risk, and find your steak. As generic as it sounds, this type of mental attitude can change your life and your best friend's.

Please contact me. Tell me your dream, your idea, your issue. I will listen with my comically large ears.

Bradley Davis
[email protected]
Evansville, Indiana

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