• Shane Smith

"Men of Character" The Work Ethic of Rio

I have had the privilege to encounter one of the hardest working people I know. His name is Rio. He has a factory job that doesn't not pay well. Today at about 4:30 he will bike in the 100 degree heat about 5 miles from his run down motel in Detroit, where a few days ago someone was murdered in the adjacent room, all the way to his physically demanding job. He has to work nights to provide for 3 children. Yes, he has made choices in his life that has led him to where he is now and to encounter serious trouble. However, this does not define him today. We met about a year ago through providential circumstances and it has been an encounter that has produced a different but meaningful friendship.

Character has been defined as doing the right thing when no one is looking. This is where I see Rio's character stand out the most. He showcases love by his self sacrifice for the sake of others. He has eyes for them and will absolutely make sure that those around him are okay. He was raised and taught to value materialism above all else as well as---->guns, cars, sex, gang life. No one taught him that he didn't have to follow the direction of his peers. Yes, he is far from perfect, but to make an effort every day to break that cycle is something to be praised. To not live a wasted life like his father who was not there for him because he was in prison. Now this is hard work! He has bills he can't pay, he faces arrows of hate from those who will not forgive him, danger from criminals, little ones who depend on him, and spiritual struggles. He knows he may never reach where his dreams take him at times but he knows he has a daily chance to get up and simply do his best and not let feelings or circumstances paralyze him.

My brother may you continue to press forward. Not looking back or to the fleeting praise or rejection from others. For you are serving something greater. Thanks for helping me to see that I am blessed beyond measure.

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