I also wondered as I watched the waiter what he was thinking. Was he thinking about staying in a hotel some day and also being waited on by someone? Did he ever dream of being on the other side of the situation? What were his hopes and dreams for the future? I don’t know, but I wanted to tell him that he could have any future he wanted for himself. I wanted to tell him that he could get to the other side. It is more likely, though, that he was thinking about his family and what he could do to provide for them right there and then by working in that hotel.
As for my grandfather, he did turn the tables and move to the other side of the equation. How? Through my parents, through me, and through everyone of my family members that have a better life today because he worked hard. Whatever kind of life we have today, he contributed to it. The success or failure of any one generation is influenced by the success or failure of the preceding generations.
I realised at that moment that we carry the dreams and hopes of the generations before us. What parent does not wish his children to have a better life than he has, no matter how good it is? Would my grandfather not feel a sense of accomplishment to see his own children and grandchildren being able to afford to stay in a hotel and have the finer things in life? Would he not feel a sense of failure to see them suffering and struggling through life two generations after him?