Wake Up and Listen
The meaning of life is to find the meaning of life. Is it not? We all go through each day trying to figure out which road out the infinite amount of paths will lead us in a better direction where happiness is prominent and society is flawless. However, not every single human being is going to fit on that narrow, one-lane highway to success. Bad choices, accidents, fate, family matters, society, temptation, anger, rage, addiction, and loss of hope can all be deciding factors in opting to choose that wrong path to self-destruction. The adverse thing is, once you've traveled so far down the road, you get so discouraged that you feel like you can never turn back or make up for the "lost time."
The past is there for us to learn from and rethink how we're going to take our wide steps into the future. Ambition and determination are key elements needed in achieving your goals. Nathan McCall goes to hell and back, just to go to hell and back again in every stage of his life. But, without a doubt, he always regains strength and bounces back.
Working-class families are anything but lazy. Fifty plus hours a week with an average of two to three mouths to feed and backs to cloth, doesn't leave much time left for sleep let alone family bonding. As a young child, Nathan understood one thing for sure - work equaled money and that you need money to survive, especially in the "white man's world." At age thirteen, Nathan was too young, innocent, and ignorant to the fact that racism existed anywhere and everywhere he went. Working to him at this stage in his life was just that...working.
Nathan just couldn't understand why his older brothers put up a fight to go with their stepfather to Sterling Point.
"They always had spending change in their pockets. What more did they want? I had big-time dreams of what I'd do with the money I made when I got old enough to go to Sterling Point. Finally, when I turned thirteen, I got my chance." (MMWH, p. 14)
Indeed, Nathan got his chance. Nathan toiled and sweated everyday for the white folks at Sterling Point. It was clear to him after a few minor incidents and observations as to why Dwight and Billy resented working there so much. Watching their father casually accept disrespect from a white woman, who monitored his menial work, and three young white boys, who refused to acknowledge his presence, was enough for all three brothers to rebel against Sterling Point - and every other future job for that matter.
Between Sterling Point and Alford J. Mapp, Nate was in over his head with unanswerable questions. Nathan finally got an entire tablespoon full of racism shoved directly down his throat. No one can seriously blame him though; being one of the only black people in an all white school is like police target practice down at the shooting range. Constantly being picked on, called names, and singled out Nathan could no longer collect the enthusiasm to participate in...