First place results in a blue ribbon, a wealthy purse, an engraved trophy. At the end of July, Americans will be counting U.S.A. gold medals won in London at the 30th summer Olympics. For the gold medalists, the effort through years of practice finally leads to the perfect, or near perfect, performance, an extensive culmination of endurance.
Americans love winners, and America certainly has an exhilarating portfolio of first accomplishments, especially in the twentieth century. Charles Lindbergh’s non-stop flight from Long Island to Paris in May, 1927, in the Spirit of St. Louis produced a first that secured his name in American history. Neil Armstrong, 42 years later in July, 1969, became the first person to walk on the moon, an historic step.
A first job is not in the winner or history-making category. It’s more like first grade. One is never as green and awkward as when an adolescent in the first year-round work tries to manage a paper route. Was delivering newspapers your first job?
This child’s entry level position meant mistakes, mess-ups until maturity slowly evolved. And there were managers along with customers who held a youngster accountable regardless of his circumstances. No flag-waving cheering audience herald a first full-time job as a paperboy, but those first experiences were memorable, remembering stumbles and all.
And earning money on a regular basis led to a first bicycle, a first bank account, new school clothes. Four wheels became better than two when enough earnings meant the first car. Building a savings account led to attending a scout jamboree or the soap box derby for the first time. Delivering newspaper for several years, the savings account was augmented with college scholarships presented by the newspaper company for a son or daughter to be the first in the family to attend college. The first job, a paper route, led to many advantages and opportunities.