Thursday, October 27, 2016

Humans of Downey - Dennis


"The place I would like to wake up tomorrow is in bed with my wife because that's my life and my lifestyle. I love doing it and I want to continue doing it. There is security and affirmation in that routine. After we wake up, we each have our own activities during the day, but we usually meet up together in the afternoon.

"Part of my day is taken up with woodworking. I love to put different hardwoods together and turn them on the lathe making bowls. When my children were younger, I made miniature houses for them and their friends. Some have been handed down in the family.

"One thing my dad taught me was to be honest and truthful. He showed me by his life that if you always tell the truth, then you won't be plagued with worry about being caught in a lie. Currently, I work with truancy kids in Bellflower. Being honest is something I try to instill in them. Many of them come from unstable family environments, but I try to teach them that nobody is going to just hand you what you need for your life. You need to work for it, to earn it. Lying and being dishonest may work in the short term, but eventually you have to pay the consequences. And that's no fun.

"So, first I try to reason with them. They tell me they want a good job or they want to go to college. So, I ask them, 'You're only going to school one day a week. How are you going to get this great job or how are you going to get into college? Is your family rich? Do you know someone that will just give you a great job in their business? Who's going to pay your tuition or your books?' But if that doesn't work, then I try to scare them, 'You want to go to jail? Let's go. I don't care, it's not going to hurt me.'

"I confess, though, part of me does it for selfish reasons. I get to go one on one, toe to toe with 15-16 year olds and try to beat them at their own game. Sometimes I win."

~ Dennis

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