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Hi! Our parents only want the best for us, but their ways of bringing us up might differ. And our upbringing obviously has an impact on our entire future, no matter whether we want it to or not. But only we can decide how to use what we have learned from our parents. Listen to this story about how I was brought up and what became of my life.
My name is Elon Musk and if you think that your childhood was complicated – do not feel bad!
My parents got divorced, I grew up with books as my only friends, I had a hard time at school, I worked on a construction site. My father did not believe in me, and far away from home, I had to survive on a dollar a day, and was constantly hungry. All of that did not really matter.
What really matters — is how you deal with everything you learned from your parents.
The first eight years of my life were bright and happy, to some extent. I lived together with my mother, father, and two younger siblings in a wealthy town in South Africa, we were about a one hour drive from the capital. Both of my parents were busy people, they worked hard and long hours and I barely saw them. But they made sure that my siblings and I did not need anything. And we did not… except for some attention, maybe.
We didn't have a nanny, just a housekeeper who was there to make sure I didn’t break anything. I really did not break anything at home, but it was a miracle. I was off making explosives and building rockets and doing things that could have gotten me killed. I’m shocked that I have all my fingers!
And also I loved to read. Once, my family went on one of their numerous shopping excursions in which they realized mid-trip that I had gone missing. My mother then took my younger brother along and went searching for me. They found me in a nearby bookstore where I was sitting on the floor and reading, oblivious to everything around me.
As I got older, I would take myself to the bookstore when school ended at 2 P.M. and stay there until six, when my parents returned home from work. I plowed through fiction books and then comics and then nonfiction titles. Sometimes they kicked me out of the store, but usually they would allow me to stay there.
At one point, I ran out of books to read at the school library and the neighborhood library and at the bookstores and so I started to read our set of Encyclopedias. This was so helpful! You don’t know, what you don’t know. You realize there are all these things out there.
Apart from that my brother and I tried to earn money. We would make chocolate Easter eggs and travel around to the wealthy parts of the city selling them. We charged 10 dollars for a homemade egg that was worth fifty cents and we’d always get questions like, ‘Why are you charging so much for this little Easter egg?’” And I answered, that they were supporting a young capitalist. And that the reality was, if they didn’t buy it from me, they were not going to get any eggs for Easter.
But everything changed after I turned eight. It was around this time that my parents realized that they were not made for each other and decided to split up. My brother and sister stayed with our mom, but I felt so sorry for my father. He seemed very sad and lonely by himself and so I said, ‘Daddy I will stay with you, I can be company.'
My father was a very hard man. Once, I remember, five or six people broke into our home. And my father alone was able to chase them away. Not everything went smoothly that day, but you have to admit: you have to be a person of exceptionally hard character to be able to stand alone against armed robbers.
Our father wanted to teach his kids, at least, his boys, to learn how to work with our hands. My brother and I used to go to where he worked. He was an engineer, so we often went to construction sites where we were doing all sorts of things from laying brick and fitting window frames, to plumbing and wiring.
Аt school I was the youngest and the smallest kid in the class, but all my reading had also made me the smartest one. Because of this I was constantly a target of jokes and something even worse. Sometimes the gangs at school would literally hunt me down! Between classes I often had to hide somewhere. Once, my best friend betrayed me when they threatened him and he gave away my secret hideout! That was not the best day for me.
Then I put the books away and started learning how to fight back – karate, judo, wrestling – it seemed like I had enrolled in every fighting school available!
Once I turned sixteen, I started dishing it out as hard as they’d give it to me.
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Content source from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-rJk_8snhY