Today I am going to tell you a story. A little interesting, kinda unusual but a true story. Unusual because it’s about ME (so there has to be a tint of weirdness to it) and true because it’s mine and I am narrating it.
I wanted to earn ever since I was 7 years old. I almost became an entrepreneur in the 5th grade itself. In my school we had a rule to write in pencil till 4th grade and as soon as we jumped into 5th, we had to switch over to pens.
At that time (and even now I suppose) all the children spent a lot of time dreaming about being in 5th grade, mostly to write in pens which were not in our reach until then and so were considered very special.
My parents always gave me whatever I asked for, be it pencils, pens, bags, clothes, anything and everything. The good thing here was that I never asked for anything. Because (idk) I never felt like buying a lot of stuff. I belong to a middle class family and have huge ambitions but when it comes to spending, I still think twice. After fourteen years or so, when I am sitting in engineering class with my teacher lecturing on Microwave and Optical fibers, there are students who when asked about how do they want their future to be, say that they want to get a job that pays them enough to not have to think twice before spending. BUT is it wrong to think twice before spending? I have thousands in my account and my card is always travelling with me, but does that mean that I can spent on anything I see? Spending is a wise activity and only few are blessed with the correct skills. Others either buy everything (even the things they don’t need) or do not buy anything and sacrifice their wishes. The world calls them spendthrift and miser respectively. I want to be the very, very first one – the wise spender.
So now coming back to the 5th grade, we were all training our fingers with the new pens. Generally children went for pens that would cost them less, most commonly 5 bucks. Few would go for 10 and very few would buy pens worth 20. There are always exceptions and yes we had those two-three who walked in with a Parker in their shirt pockets.
Talking about me, I bought few in 5 and 10 (idr may be I got one in 20 too- you are talking to a stationery freak here!). I used gel pens and realized that they soon ran out of ink. Every 5th day I had to buy a new pen and constantly asking for money from my parents didn’t feel alright.
So I started selling pens! And the interesting thing here is that, I would sell empty pens! And yeah! Yeah there were people who bought them and paid me for the pens with no ink at all!
I have always been crazy about pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. I always got myself pens which were new and different than my older ones. Once they were finished, I would save them in a packet. I just never liked the idea of throwing them away.
One day, I went and asked my friend if she wanted new and fresh bodies to write with. I convinced her to buy pen’s body from me and its refill from the shop through which she could save money!
She became my first customer and later attracted the other girls and now there were so many girls buying pen’s bodies from me for two bucks or one. It didn’t matter if it was one or two, what was important and satisfying was that I was earning for free from products that my mom would rather prefer to throw away.
I gave up on that business soon because we all started growing up! And of course because when mom says it’s useless, it is. : D
We should really trust our parents but who would even tell me all this back then!
THE MAIN PART OF MY STORY- (the weird part)
Travelling deeper into past, I go back to the time when I was in 3rd grade. There were no empty pens in my box at that time but my desire to earn had made me look out for different ways to do so.
At school, Every time anybody wanted to throw a waste paper, I would take it from them and put it in my bag. Going home I would collect them all and then sell them to the recycle shop in exchange for a little money. I continued with it for a month and though it would never bring me more than 5 bucks I wouldn’t care because it was for free, it was in favour of the environment and there was nobody to guide me to stop it telling me that it was wrong or rather a cheap thing to do.
A while later I again grew up a little and naturally learned that it was wrong and stopped it.
Now after all these years (almost 15 years), when I come back home from college, I find garbage in my bag. Waste graphs, torn bits of paper, empty pens, pen caps, etc. Idk who puts them in my bag, specially when I have thrown few of them on the ground myself, they somehow retrace their path back to me.
The past tried coming back to me but I shooed it away.
Now there is a new dustbin just next to my classroom door. (idk who put it there, but it just came!)
I can’t change what is done already but I am happy I learned a few important lessons in my 3rd grade itself which says, “more than earning, its the way of earning that matters more and decides one’s success”.
Earning and learning ever since!
Yeah you can laugh thinking about it! Its nothing serious! 😀