Michael Pearl: I have hope. I have hope of my children growing up. I have hope for my grand kids. I have hope for the future. I have hope for eternity. Those things together gives me a sense of pleasure and reward. Children have to have that. We make children happy when we train them to willing do their unpleasant duty. Train them to willingly do their unpleasant duty. You know the most miserable people I know are lazy people. The most unhappy people I know are people who don't produce anything. The people who live off of government subsidies who otherwise don't have to are the most unhappy, complaining, un‑thankful people in the world.
Now, society is producing lazy bums, like a fellow I know named Eddy. Eddy graduated from the high school there in Centerville, Tennessee, with very high, very high grades. I think probably Eddy is a genius up around 140.
Any subject you want to talk about, Eddy's familiar with it, science different things, he is quite studious extremely bright. A skinny little pimple faced boy about 24 years old now, I guess.
Eddy, I started witnessing to Eddy's family when he was 10 years old. His mother was a prostitute a drunk, dope head, live in guy here, live in guy there, jailed. I've bailed her out of the jail, paid the fine to get her out.
Eddy, when he got about 18, 19 years old graduated and I came in contact with him again and I said "What are you going to do?" Well, he had some great hopes about what he was going to do, and said he was going to school. Something about six months later no school, "Where you working" "I'm not working, living down in that old shack."
Well, we went down to the old shack and we walk in and literally the floor has rotted so that it fell down to the ground, and then the floor boards rotted till they disappeared. When it would rain, it was in a low spot, water would just come into the kitchen and you stepped down about 18 inches walking through the kitchen into the bottom of it and back up the other side.
They put some old carpet they got somewhere in there to kind of cover that up and the water is running in a few places and rotting out the walls but they don't take any pains to fix it. He's got a brother several years older than him they are living there together now.
I said, "Eddy why don't you fix this?" He said, "We're going to." He came by no more than a month ago as he has done before and he said, "I think I'm going to go down and get a job down there at that place" and he told where he was going to go.
I said, "Why don't you go now? It's one o'clock you can get there and see about a job before..." He said, "Well, they might close before I get there." I said, "Well they might but with that bicycle you ought to be able to get there before they close." He said, "Well I just think I'll go tomorrow."
I said, "Eddy, I've heard you say 'tomorrow' a hundred times. You're always going to go tomorrow. You're always going to do something tomorrow." Eddy complains about how hard life is, about the circumstances of life.
I said, "Eddie, if I were you I'd go down there right now, and I would go underneath that bridge next to that factory. I'd fix me a place to live. I'd get me a can to cook out of. I'd catch fish out of that stream. I'd trap rats if I had to, but I would live under that bridge and I would get a job at that place, and I wouldn't miss work because I would be right there by it."
"Within two weeks, I'd have enough money to go rent one of those government apartments real cheap, and within another month I'd have enough money to buy me and old car. Within a month after that, I'd have me some decent clothes, and a little money in pocket, and that old car running, and I'd look for a better job where I could drive to it."
I said, "Eddie, within a year, I'd have a decent job, and a decent automobile, and a decent place to live. Within two years, I would have bought an old house that needed fixing up, and a year after that I'd have it fixed up and sell it, and make $75,000 profit on it. I'd put that into another house, and I would live in that house for a year and fix it up while I was working somewhere."
"Within ten years, Eddie, I'd own ten houses. I'd have anything I want. I'd be able to take vacations, and I wouldn't be standing here saying 'tomorrow'."
But I said, "Eddie, this time next year you'll still be saying tomorrow, because you're lazy." Now, I'm frank with him. In fact, I've been giving him that same lecture, now, for three or four years. He keeps coming around about every three months to get that same lecture from me over and over again.
Now, I don't know why he does it. I guess it's because he's so lazy he's got nothing else to do. Folks, I know a thousand young men like that. I know some 40‑year‑old men like that. I know some 60‑year‑old men like that. Just dog tired lazy. Now, they didn't just get that...they weren't born that way.
You make a child happy by giving them hope and a vision with the means to fulfill it. In other words, you want to instill in your children a hope of making something in life, doing something, being somebody, accomplishing something. You want to create a vision that excites them, so that they make commitments.
Our daughter, Shalom, when she was, I don't know 10 or 11 years old, decided she wanted to be a nurse. Now, we knew she'd get married and she'd never be a nurse, but she wanted to be a nurse. She had a vision of healing and helping people. That's kind of her nature.
You know what we did? We went to the library, Deb did, and got her books on anatomy. She started learning all the bone parts, muscles, tissues, and structure. She studied just like she was going to be a nurse, got a head start. She had a vision that was driving her.
Now, she got up about, what was she 19 when she got married? 21, oh that old. She got up about, but whatever it was and got married. She never did become a nurse. I knew she wouldn't, but she had a vision that gave her a focus. See? Each one of our children have had visions about what they wanted out of life.