Living Below Your Means
Didn't Know Economics,
Did Know Opportunity

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By spl241
August 1, 2002

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Find A Need and Fill It is probably the most basic law of economics. We all know it well, don't we? Yet, I wonder how many of us have walked right past Opportunity's door? Nay, let's amend that to how many of us even saw the door, let alone its "knocker" that would allow us entry?

One with clarity of vision who did is a former student who delighted me the other night when he stopped to buy some of that "cream" of ours. He will be a junior at a state U. & he's studying art education. It's not insignificant that he's from a low-means family and that he's pretty maxed right now on student aid. Help from his family was never an issue, but last spring, he began to realize that returning for his junior year might become one.

Last spring, during break and while doing some summer job investigation, he drove out to a rural area to find a friend. He thought he had the right house, but there was no address on the mailbox. He drove further, noticing that several houses he passed had no address, either. Finally, one did, so he turned around, did some quick mailbox math, and found that his friend's house was the first one after all. All this was not lost upon him, the college kid who really needed to make money this summer.

Like a bloodhound, he sniffed something. He drove out into the county several more times. This was his important legwork: time-consuming, but free. Loads of addresses were missing, indecipherable, partial, etc. He had lots of stencils, paint, and ability. He timidly knocked on a few doors. The rest, according to the old adage, is history.

The response was overwhelming, so stupendous that soon he hired a helper. Many people told him, "Yeah, that's a job I was gonna' do...just never got around to it...mailman knows where we live," etc.

Then that "door" opened wider--and more profitably. "Uh, say, while you're at it, could you fix/put in a new mounting? Can't dig post holes like I used to." Basic carpentry had now entered the picture. (When's the last time you paid a skilled carpenter? 'Nuff said.)

He's back to state U. in a few weeks, his tuition, fees, and spending money pretty well accounted-for. This Friday, he's at my house, replacing that crooked, weather beaten eyesore that's been hit by 2 Mopeds and had 2 digits missing for almost a year. (I can't dig postholes very well anymore, either!)

But I can admire clarity of brain strain OR back strain.


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