“Become the best YOU can be and don’t worry about what others are doing. Accept aid from the wise, deny comments from evil, and use your experiences to guide you through the decisions you make throughout your life. Every decision won’t be the correct one, but every decision will build your character. These decisions should reflect YOURSELF, and not what others what you to be.” – Luis Urias Sr. aka Dad
In the United States of America, people are granted the freedom to chase any dream that they may wish to pursue. However, they are told what they want and not what’s truly best for them. Today, advertisements inform us on what we must have, whether it may be the thousand dollar purse made by a specific brand or the hottest sports car out on the market. Most Americans are not aware, and instead they are robots that are programmed to believe what they observe and consume the things that they see. Corporations influence the things we view and hear, in order to benefit their company’s sales. No matter the evil that is involved with using their product, the major goal for these corporations as a whole, is to make as much money that they possibly can and make the consumers believe what they wish for them to believe, fooling our nation and our people.
In the Food Industry, companies promote meat based products while knowing the unsustainable procedures involved. The American culture is so obsessed with the consumption of meat that books, such as “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer, can’t seem to change the minds of the greater population. Even with the persuasive evidence presented by Foer, his call to action of Americans consuming less meat because it is simply too unsustainable to continue at our consumption rates, doesn’t manage to spread throughout our nation’s households. Not only does Foer encounter the problem of not being able to create awareness for this issue, the greater problem involved of meat consumption is that most Americans find themselves undoubtedly not caring. Do we ever see this evidence provided by Foer’s study shown on television? No, instead we see the complete opposite. The American people are rather advised that there is never too much meat and the more meat we consume, the better. Are we to blame for being so gullible to the things we see? Or rather, the company’s that swamp us with the ideologies that benefit themselves, while harming the planet and our people’s health?
This growing issue of creating a distance between our lives and issues such as sustainability, is in result to the promotion of the desires large corporations wish us to pursue. Known as the father of Business ethics, Manuel G. Velasquez writes in his book “Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases,” that “production is to expand, therefore, producers must create a new demand by manipulating the pliable psychic desire through advertising” (Velasquez, 328). So, we often want what we want only because we are told to want it, this being the point of advertising.
Americans are astonished by the achievements of certain individuals seen on television. The love, admiration, and praise that these idolized individuals receive make the people want to become just like them. That person becomes a target, for the appreciation Americans see prominent figures attain, has them dream of experiencing the same glorified life that these figures live. That fame, wealth, and power these individuals posses, influences us into hoping to adopt their lifestyles. Americans have been advised to believe that the life they should all aspire to live, is the life seen on television. Problem is, nobody knows what it actually takes to achieve these aspirations. The people of the United States are simply told to achieve them and set goals based off the outcomes of our idolized individuals, leaving us with dreams that may never be reached.
My idol, Luis Urias Sr., made sure that I understood what it takes to succeed in life. Of course, he knows that everyone hopes to become rich and famous, but he would always tell me that it takes more than just wishing. Using life experiences, leaning from my mistakes, and becoming the man that I specifically wanted to be were his keys in obtaining success. None of this is easy and my father placed a great deal of importance for me to establish this way of thinking. Looking back at his life, I understood what it takes, and even when all odds were against him, he never gave up. He instead, pushed himself even harder and built his character from those defining moments.
Born in a tiny farm town with a population of 170, my father was the eldest of 6 and lived on a ranch where families worked form before the sun rose to whenever their work was finished for the day. Long and hard hours in the fields consisted of skipping school, growing crops, and caring for livestock. In Nacozary, Sinaloa, Mexico children, like my father, were left with no choice but to drop out of school and work for their families. Families needed the extra support, as they struggled to gain enough capital to supply the family members with sufficient food and water to survive. My father described his appetite as “beans, tortillas, corn, and any type of meat they can get their hands on.” Luis Urias Sr. dropped out of school in just the fifth grade and started to learn the ways of the fields as well as different survival tactics in La Playa Colorada, a bay that connected to the Pacific Ocean. In La Playa Colorada, my father would fish for a variety of bass, shrimp, and scallops eating them right on shore, consistently consuming them raw. It was during his childhood, where he built his strong character and motivated approach to life, looking to get out of his poor town at all costs. He had a vision to get his family out of Nacozary, and in this vision he could see nothing getting in his way. He was determined to offer his family a comfortable life, as he felt the need to repay them for all of the years they had sacrificed for him and his siblings, without any hesitation.
At just the age of 17 my father started his journey to the United States in search of a new life. Luis Urias Sr. knew absolutely zero english nor did not know how to maneuver his way around the state of California, better yet anywhere outside his state of Sinaloa. The only thing he did know, was that he “was going to make a living in this new world, one way or another” he said. Beginning his new life in Compton, CA he would manage to stay afloat, living with various aunts and family friends while he worked multiple jobs that consisted of; working on a food truck, picking crops in the fields, painting houses, carpentry, and assisting in a local auto shop. Throughout the next dozen years, he started to pick up little bits of english and could now converse with Americans, benefiting himself and his opportunity for more work. Up until the age of 26 my father lived in Los Angeles, until he followed his mom’s sister, Ellidia, to the Central Valley. For the next three years he started to improve his resume and later obtained a salary based job as a main crane operator at Willis Construction in San Juan Bautista, CA. Here, in San Juan Bautista, is where I, Luis Urias Jr., was born.
Working as a crane operator my father earned a decent amount of money, being able to live in a two door one bathroom apartment with my mother Maria Urias and a then 9 month year old Luis Urias Jr. He described the life as comfortable and he and my mother were able to purchase groceries on a regular basis, along with some luxuries such as television and cellular phones. My father, however, was not content. His ultimate goal of being able to provide his family back home with a comfortable life was not achieved and he could not do so with his current crane operating job title. So, he started an agricultural business in Gilroy, CA, with his father-in-law, and named it UC Farms. Little did he know, that this new UC Farms business would become his new profession, eventually leading him to achieve his ultimate goal set way back when he was 17 years old.
Managing both the construction site in San Juan Bautista and making efforts to start up his new business was not easy. He was hardly ever home and my mother was growing very impatient with his newly built idea of starting an agricultural business in the neighboring town of Gilroy. However, my father was determined. He saw this new business thriving and proving to be a great success for him and his family in the long run. In efforts to really get UC Farms booming, he quit his construction job at Willis Construction Inc. and invested thousands of dollars for the agriculture business to grow. At the time, my mom was really unsure of his decision and wasn’t 100% sure th
at it was the correct one. Luis Urias Sr., though, knew it all along.
UC Farms consisted of growing crops such as bell peppers, banana peppers, chile peppers, fava beans, and most importantly green beans. When I asked him about how he started the company he responded with, “ I rented my first tractor, my first piece of land, and then started to grow as many crops that I possibly could. For some reason I chose green beans, as the owner of the land I leased had told me green beans were very popular around this part of the state. ” From then on forward, he managed to purchase his own equipment, land, and crew that now brings in roughly $2million dollars in total revenue. $2MILLION DOLLARS! Starting with only knowing “hello” and “yes” ended up with him creating a business in the silicon valley that now produces around 500 tons of green beans per year. His life story will always have a spot in my heart, as his determination to prosper and grow in this world never ended. From this, I learned to adopt certain morals and views on life. From him, I learned what it means to face obstacles and learn from our own life experiences. From my father, I learned what it takes to truly become successful. Not, what we see on the television, but rather from my very own DAD.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown, 2009. Print.
Velasquez, Manuel G. Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1982. Print.