by Kenneth Justice
~On National Public Radio (NPR) yesterday, a lot of time was spent discussing a serious problem many young people are facing here in the States; graduating college with massive student loan debt and no job prospects.
What’s a young person to do? You spend all of your young life doing what your told;
–) You graduate high school with good grades
–) You don’t smoke dope
–) You don’t wear baggy jeans
–) You go to college and earn a four year degree
Then as soon as you take the cap and gown off and step out into the adult world……..all of that schooling has hurt you! You’re now overwhelmed in student loan debt and the only job you can find is serving coffee at Tim Hortons.
But, this post isn’t about young people….its about their parents, its about their uncles and aunts, its about you and me.
If we are going to be honest about the economic situation all across Europe and the America’s then I believe we need to begin looking at life a little bit differently than we used to.
I’ve mentioned before my admiration for various ethnic groups who have immigrated to here in the U.S. and who work together in building a future for their families. And I’m wondering……perhaps its time that we begin doing that for each other.
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children – Proverbs 13:22
When most of us think about inheritances I suspect we think of rich people. We think of men and women who have storehouses of money and leave oodles of it to their undeserving child named Chaz or Tatum……
But an inheritance doesn’t have to be an outrageous amount…does it?
–) Perhaps it is teaching our children a trade that they could fall back on if college doesn’t work out (electrician, carpenter, etc)
–) Perhaps it means letting our adult children live at home with us and pooling our money together until we all save up enough money together to buy them a house
–) Perhaps it means helping out our nephews and nieces
–) Perhaps it means letting our younger adult siblings move in with us so we can help them save money
I know of a couple people who let their younger siblings move in with them and haven’t charged them rent because they want to help their siblings get a good start on life.
I know of an uncle who let his 22 year old nephew move in and doesn’t charge him rent; he encourages the nephew to save as much money to buy a house.
I’m not a crazy capitalist and I’m also not a crazy communist. I’m a moderate that falls in the middle of many economic and political issues. But I am a firm believer in working together and searching for solutions because I believe its up to you and me to make our lives better.
Last week a kind reader used a phrase I’ve been thinking about quite a bit; “The Cult of Individualism” We who live in the Western World became so used to the affluence that many of us experienced in varying forms that individualism was a central tenant of our lives; “we don’t need anyone else we just need ourselves and we will succeed in the world” is what many of us thought.
But when our whole economic world came crashing down in 2008 the tables turned……it no longer matters if you have a college degree, it no longer matters if you are a hard worker, it no longer matters if you are an honest person……..
As a Christian who has children, I think about that verse from Proverbs quite a bit. What kind of inheritance can I leave my children? I’m not a millionaire, I don’t have gold and silver buried in my backyard. Yet nonetheless, I want to do what I can to help them have the best chance at a successful, peaceful, and joyful life.
I don’t want to put my faith in a the college system because their is no guarantee that young men and women who graduate college will have a job waiting for them……..it doesn’t mean we should shirk of college entirely. But it does mean we should have a proper perspective to this new world we are all living in.
I don’t want to subscribe to the cult of individualism.
I don’t want to teach my children that its entirely up to them to forge their way through this world.
I don’t want to live on my little island and pretend that everything is wonderful on the main land.
Ultimately, I want to embrace the things I love about our culture, and set aside the things I don’t care for; and I believe its time to slowly begin moving away from the cult of individualism.
Time for another coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society