Graduation season is always full of high hopes and BIGG dreams. We always enjoy hearing or reading about all the great convocation speeches.
But this year’s biggest inspiration didn’t come from any of the high-powered speakers. It came from a janitor.
You may have heard about Gac Filipaj. He’s the 52-year old graduate from Columbia University.
What a success story – he fled to America to escape civil war and ethnic cleansing in his homeland. Like so many first-generation immigrants, he sought opportunity.
And opportunity – just like the success it leads to – comes with a price. He thought nothing of this; he was willing to pay it.
He discovered that Columbia offered its employees 14 credit hours of classes every year for free. He wanted an education. So he took a job as a “heavy cleaner” at Columbia – mopping floors, cleaning toilets, and taking out the garbage.
After learning to speak English, it took twelve more years to get his degree in the classics. He attended classes in the morning followed by a full day of work from mid-afternoon to 11 PM. Then he would crack open the books to study, occasionally pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam or write a paper.
Now he plans to continue on to get his PhD. He wants to teach. And he hopes to get promoted to supervisor.
It’s the American Dream alive and well!
But what really struck us is the attitude of the haters. And there are plenty of them, visible in the comments on the various stories we read.
You know these people. They are so miserable that they can’t feel good about themselves unless they feel like they made others feel bad.
They don’t see any value in this amazing man’s accomplishment. They assert that a janitor’s job is menial. They decry his degree as useless. They say it was a waste of time.
We couldn’t disagree more.
We believe there is dignity in every job. Every job is an opportunity to learn about yourself and become a better person.
We don’t profess to knowing anymore than they do. But from what we know, we think he made a great decision. He’s living his life on his own terms. Who cares what they think?
In the meantime, what are they doing? Commenting on his life and mocking his choices.
We ask you – who’s wasting time?
Image in this post from stock.xchng