Thursday, January 23, 2014

The chicken or the egg?

I need to get this idea onto something else before it leaves me...

What came first? The chicken or the egg? This question is so frequently pondered on an amusement level basis, but can be directly applied to everyday situations.

Take for example, people that don't have much money. It's a never ending cycle. One person is unable to create fiscal wealth and others in the family have the same problem. Then children and more future posterity have the same problem.

If that's the chicken, what's the egg?

The egg would be the situation that causes the lack of money. Bad money handling skills, anxieties, other mental and physical barriers... What came first? The chicken? Or the egg?

Did her great grandfather suck at handling money, losing his farm in the process and pass that down to posterity? Or did the lack of having money to handle cause him to lose his farm?

It's hard to learn how to handle what you don't have. Anybody can read the manual, but it takes experience to understand how it actually works.

And thinking about that has got me to thinking further. I got a call from a debt collector. I'm in debt for various reasons. How is it that someone so new to the experience of life is so suddenly struck with debt? How is it that my anxiety stops me from coming out of this pit, this hell?

The answer is simple, I was raised around it. Is it possible for me to learn how to handle money? Yes. It is possible for me to learn how to handle my anxiety? That might be going too far. But there are always steps that lead to a better life. There are things one can do, choices one can make, but if your own thinking got you into this mess how will the same thinking take you out of it?

That's why relationships amongst people exist. No two people think alike. Friends, family, everyone can offer new insight to the same problem. The issue is many families who lack the needed funds for survival in this corporation built world often learn to either be too independent and anxiety stricken, or too dependent and full of depression.

Obviously there are countless differences and no two situations are the same but there are enough similarities to know a program is needed.

And not just any program.

Sure, you have your AVID in high school to help average students become extraordinary college ones. Sure, there's Big Brothers Big Sisters to give a child a mentor. And of course there are programs that help first generation college students on their way. But that's focused on college. Curriculum. Education.

And while I love the schools of all kinds and enjoy the fact that those programs exist, it's not enough.

A child at age 16 can get a normal job (though with a few restrictions) in an entry level environment if he or she has the determination to do so.

Factors: Job availability in the area, transportation to the job, lack of skills, determination required.

Determination is created through both a sense of pride in independence, volition, and support from others. A person in a low income household may lack transportation, but mostly they are likely to lack the ability to move past all of the problems they deal with at home to develop enough determination to jump through all the hurdles required in order to find and keep a job.

Don't believe me? Look at my life and the life of people I've known.

That's why I propose a program bent on helping students develop the skills they need to be financially responsible as well as have everything they need to stay determined. Let's face it, the lemonade stand game is fun but it doesn't quite cut it in the grand scheme of real life.

The program would involve mentors for small groups of no more than three students. It would have no religion at its base, nor would religion be involved in discussions, as each belief of each person is to be respected. The program would have weekly check-ups and meetings with all students to see how things are doing. They would organize volunteer events and allow students to be apart of the group's budget process. Every student would have the opportunity to be both a leader and a follower. They would get to experience growth through what they need. And furthermore, resumes would be worked on, those that get jobs will have separate job related sessions. Everyone would get help with homework.

And it would be in a school or community center building or a library, because those places foster hope, determination, and learning.