On the ride back to the Branch from the Zonal Office, I did some reflecting on the week. Everyone I had met - from the borrowers, to the students, to all the employees of Grameen Bank – they were all extremely hard working. There was no end to the hours they worked, and the heat through which they toiled. It made me even question how a country with such hardworking people could be in such a state of underdevelopment. So, I asked Matin if this behavior I had witnessed was typical. Were the people of Bangladesh, generally, hard working?
The question was almost rhetorical, but Matin surprised me and said, “No.” He said that it was not typical – some people worked hard, others did not. Like any other country, you can’t generalize. His answer made sense, but I explained that I had thought otherwise because of what I had witnessed in my time at Grameen. To this, Matin replied, “Grameen is giving them opportunity, and poor people will not waste an opportunity. They have not yet been spoiled. They have to work hard to get out of poverty.…” His answer resonated with me, and certainly gives me hope for the replication of Grameen’s success around the world.