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Hardscrabble Salvation

In the reading “Hardscrabble Salvation”, the author Joel Presto Smith talks about his mother and the great role she played in his life. The writer holds good memories of his courageous mother who strived to live up with dignity and pride. After his father’s death from a heart attack, his mother would assure him he would be okay despite the fact of having no money; nor heat, water, or electricity. When getting a job two hours away, the mother would come back from work to help her son clearing the land despite being a disabled woman. The mother worked very hard to fulfill their needs and stood in the face of poverty. Smith’s mother was the one who taught him pride, courage, and optimism in a practical and indirect way. Joel Smith had never been told to do his work; instead he acquired his work moral belief in a concrete model. Later on time, Joel Smith went through very harsh situations in his life. Every time he felt despair he would turn back into his memory to remember how patient his mother was in enduring life barriers. He would go back to these memories to help him overcome some obstacles. The writer is proud of his mother that inspired him to do better in his life. If it wasn’t for the good memories he holds in mind for his mother he wouldn’t have accomplished being a journalist. As a female, I feel very proud when I hear about the accomplishments of women who have a positive impact on their family members and communities. In this reading, I have to agree with the writer that his mother was a great woman. What a great role for mothers to achieve by providing their children with persistence and hope to change their negative way of thinking and have an improved life. Joel Smith’s mother was strong enough to prove herself and challenge the tough circumstances regardless of her disability. The reading reflects a different expectation that women are dependent, less self-determined, and fragile. In my view point, this reading must inspire other mothers to follow the same path. Women should be patient, powerful, and not to lose balance when facing critical moments.


  1. hebasha says:

    Women, throughout our history, have demonstrated extreme patience. Mothers, in particular, are very patient, particularly when raising their own children and maintaining responsibilities at the same time. They’re quite the multi-taskers, overcoming adversity from all dimensions. However, I find that it’s only natural that we may indeed lose balance during critical moments, and men, just as well as women, should not be stigmatized for this human trait. Individuals justify that women are “emotional” because they may lose their balance, and it may be visible with tears. Men, who are expected not to cry, may express their loss of balance quite differently, perhaps in anger? And in this sense, society wrongfully justifies women as weak, for being more expressive of their failures. I find that emotions are actually a strength, rather than a weakness.

  2. ckazda2013 says:

    What a great role model he had. Overcoming these obstacles makes a family stronger and more close. Because he had a mother like this, he will be a great parent himself one day when he has his own children, he will look back and think about how hard his mother worked. Hopefully he would do the same for his own kids.

  3. balbojaw says:

    The story was very interesting and reminded me of old movies, when the woman worked hard to raise her kids while keeping her dignity and never giving up in the face of adversity. I really love these kinds of stories. Nowadays, everyone only cares about him/herself and such stories are rare.

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