Reprinted from LinkedIn
By David Tsubouchi
When I was a boy my father told me time after time to remember my roots. I didn’t really pay much attention to this when I was 16 years old but years later I did.
When I was young my family didn’t have much. We were typical of all Japanese Canadian families who had everything they owned confiscated by the Canadian government during WWII. I would do anything I was qualified for or could convince someone that I could do to earn money. My list of jobs included dishwasher, bus boy, waiter, short order cook, fork lift operator, shipper and receiver in a lumber yard, rip saw operator and the list goes on.
In those days you used have to take a lot of crap in the service industry because if you didn’t you would be fired. The customer, as mean as he could be, was always right.
When my father told me to remember my roots he meant both my Japanese heritage and our struggles but also what it is to be on the short side of the stick. He meant that we need to treat all others with respect and courtesy regardless of who they were or what they did for a living.
Having grown up on the wrong side of the fiscal tracks and having a name that ended with a vowel in the 50’s and 60’s provided me with a first-hand perspective of my father’s words.
Many of us despite being destined to fail by the normal scheme of the world would succeed through perseverance.
It is important that we not only show respect and courtesy but provide the mentoring and sharing of knowledge that we never experienced.
We need to remember our roots.
• Original article