Recently finished reading the book “Eleni” and “A Place for Us” by Nicholas Gage. Both are exceptional books.
I took note of page 445 from “Eleni”. Nicholas Gage referred to the change in behavior and philosophy of Greeks who moved to America: “The Greeks seemed to absorb the Calvinist work ethic with their first step on American soil. They abandoned afternoon siestas and long, lazy hours in the coffee shops to work fourteen-hour days – husbands, wives and children, side by side. They paid for their homes and automobiles in cash. Many of the Mourgana Greeks in Worcester, including all four of my brothers-in-law, saved enough eventually to open pizza parlors throughout New England.”
It struck me that a core truth we know is that something worked hard for and earned is so much more valuable, rewarding and incentivizing than to receive a hand-out. To directly realize the benefits of one’s own labors is intrinsically rewarding.
A clear example is the difference of Hurricane Katrina flooding in New Orleans and the flooding of the northern Mississippi a couple years later. In one situation you had a populace reliant on government assistance which bred a dependency and seeming helplessness to fix one’s situation in New Orleans versus the self-reliance, help each other other out, rebuild without sitting back and asking “where’s my government?”.