An Ellis Island lesson …


A friend’s grandfather came to America from Europe and after being processed at Ellis Island, he went into a cafeteria in New York City to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order. Of course, nobody ever did. Finally, a man with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and told him how things worked.

“Start at that end,”he said, änd just go along and pick out what you want. At the other end they’ll tell you how much you have to pay for it.”

“I soon learned that’s how everything works in America,” Grandpa told our friend. “Life is a cafeteria here. You can get anything you want as long as you’re willing to pay the price. You can even get success. But you’ll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself.”




About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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8 Responses to An Ellis Island lesson …

  1. Short and sweet.

  2. ape@kinjioleaf says:

    The next important lesson here is be prepared to pay the price.

  3. patriot says:

    You get the return that’s equal to your effort. You said it in one of your posting. How do You rate your return for your effort at blogging and verbal boxing for the last one year?

    • Patriot,
      Just be patient. It will be revealed on a 4-page speech I’ll be delivering next month in a seminar organized by a local think tank. Just look out for it here. I’ll publish it here after the event.
      I’d prefer to use the term thrust and parry instead of verbal boxing which sounds so crude.

      • patriot says:

        My Dear Learned Fren:

        astonished tat You find verbal boxing crude.

        Me wanted to use conversation, discussion and debate, but, found them not doing justice to the cuts and thrusts, the jugular exchanges tat we got to read here. Each punch was more lethal than the earlier ones and this is what i call spontaneity, unrehearsed and straight from the hearts. Yes, a little emotional and tat is what makes a human different from other animals. There was feelings; human feelings.

        As conversation is now made and promoted much as a virtuous attempt at caring for one another, i almost wanted to use it. But too bad; after watching and reading some of them, i found them too artful. Too much deference, overly diplomatic, not rehearsed for sure, but appeared and sounded gagged. Did not find much sincerity on both sides.

        Anyway, i got to learn much from coming here and meeting You. Am very sure that many are going to miss lots of interesting insights and your experiences in work and living. May i wish You happiness in everything You do.


      • Joey Foo says:

        TEDxSingapore by any chance?

  4. agongkia says:

    This grandpa reminded me of the 3 blind men and the elephant and I believe Ellis Island is the only place he visited in his life.
    My friend sookookia was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.No need to do anything ,everything come to him.Power,chabor,chauffeur,everything oso got.Who says one must get up and get it himself.Depend on which family you are born into and how deep is your pocket,not depend on how hard working you are.
    If he is somebody ,he can visit more Islands.He have not come across there are even little island willing to stage a wayang for him.If I am a penghuru,I can even arrange getai with nude singers for him on every meal and get those below 17s to bring the foods right in front of his mouth.

  5. The says:

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    Our rulers, oops, politicians seem to have taken “The New Colossus” to heart and admit all and sundry to our shore. Only they forgot that we are only a little red dot and not half a continent.

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