Step Out on Nothing

Josiah McCutcheon Term Paper 11/8/12 Step Out on Nothing After reading Byron Pitts Step Out on Nothing, I felt incredibly inspired by his will to overcome the challenges he faced throughout his life. I felt the book was more personal to me because I could relate to many of the stories and challenges described in the book. This book has changed a lot of my views and caused me to be more appreciative of the people in my life who have helped me overcome my own personal obstacles. Growing up Byron dealt with many difficulties that molded his character and helped him become a stronger person.
His parents constantly fought but his mother always reassured him that everything would be all right and within God’s hands. He didn’t get much attention from his parents because they were always busy trying to support the family. His mother always expected him to do the best that he could and more and it’s the love he had for his mother that gave him the courage to do his best and maintain his mother’s expectations. I can relate to this because I grew up with my mother and father always fighting but I knew they loved each other regardless of their arguments.
My parents having five children didn’t help the situation because they were obligated to support the family by working all the time while simultaneously doing their best to be good role models. This is a lot of stress and responsibility for anyone and the stress caused by these burdens created more arguments that seemed to surface quite frequently. Much like Bryon’s mother Clarice, my parents expected us to be very respectful towards others and do the best that we could. My father, a man that reminds me of Clarice would always tell us everyday before school to be respectful and learn something.

I don’t remember one day were my father didn’t remind us. Much like his family, we were a very religious family that had much faith in God. Growing up in a home where I was encouraged to learn and be respectful of others built character and helped shape me into the person I am today. Byron’s parents divorced forcing his mother to be the main supporter in his life because his father was absent through most of his life. I feel that this made him a stronger person because he didn’t have the father figure around to help support the family and this reinforced the need for education in Byron’s mind.
His father’s absence and his mothers struggle to support the family independently made it clear that he needed to obtain a good education so he wasn’t put in similar circumstances as an adult. I can relate to this because I had my father growing up until I was sixteen until he passed from a heart attack. Of course, I had my father growing up giving me much advice on how to be a better man, but then losing him with my mom trying to support five kids was hard for her. I truly think that God has a plan for everyone and that everything happens for a reason.
After that happened it made me a much stronger person and helped me deal with many things that many people couldn’t. Watching my mom struggling made me realize how much more my education meant and the need for an education to live a more comfortable life. It also showed me how important family is to have in your life. My family will always be there just like Bryon always had his family to turn to. Growing up Byron never learned how to read, because he was always trying to hide it from others. His mother never noticed it either because she was always so busy trying to support the family.
Byron dealt with not only racism, but also people making fun of him because he couldn’t read. I honestly think that growing up with this issue positively contributed to the person he became. I can relate to this because my parents were always so busy with work and then when they got home it was time for them to relax. I also think they relied on the school a little bit too much to expect them to teach me how to read. Living in a rural area Roane County, West Virginia, education wasn’t the best.
My father realized that we could receive a better education in a county that had more resources to provide children with a better education. Consequently, he moved us when I was ten years old to Morgantown, West Virginia. Once again reminds me of when Byron’s mother had him go to Curley for a better education. Morgantown was a much more populated school and I was made fun of causing me to hate school even more until a teacher much like Ms. Ulle, helped me with my reading and writing as much as she could. Her named was Ms.
Bell and I remember the time she realized that I couldn’t read very well when a kid in her class made fun of me to the point where I was very upset. She asked me to stay after class and told me that she saw much greatness in me and wanted to help. It reminded me of when Dr. Paul Lucus told him,” Mr. Pitts, you’re wasting my time and the government’s money. You are not Ohio, Wesleyan University material. I think you should leave. ” Later on Ms. Ulle see’s Byron crying and says, ”Young man are you ok? Yes ma’am, I’m fi…fi…fi…fine. You don’t look fine, please tell me what’s wrong she insisted. Byron proceeds to tell the story of Dr. Lucas and Ms. Ulle and encourages Byron to stay in school and offers to help him succeed. After reading what Byron went through I felt reassured that I could also some day achieve great things like Byron. It also gave me a deeper appreciation for the people that saw the potential in each of us. One of my favorite parts about this book was when Bryon talks about his experience in Afghanistan. His experience in Afghanistan was definitely life changing for him to see and go through many different obstacles.
I feel that him seeing and going through various life-threatening situations made him appreciate everything in his life much more. I’ve always thought about going into the army to get the experience and also think it would be interesting to see different parts of the world and being able to learn about new cultures first hand. I feel an experience such as military service would expand my appreciation for life and give me valuable experience that would positively influence my character much like Byron’s experience as a journalist overseas.
In this book it shows how much Byron Pitts wouldn’t give up on what he love to do and that was being a journalist. “Step out on nothing”, he had a long journey going through many different obstacles along the way. I feel that Byron wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the support and love from his much appreciated love ones. The book has inspired me to not only to be the best that I can be but also, to never give up on trying at the things you want in life even if it means getting turned down numerous of times.