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A lot of people assume it’s their circumstances that determine their attitude. But that’s really not the case. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Let me tell you about Christy and Debra. I think their stories illustrate the point well.
Christy is in her thirties. She’s college educated and ambitious, but with the economy struggling, she started cleaning houses to make ends meet. One of her daily tasks is scrubbing toilets. She hates it. From her view, she deserves better.
Our family is visiting Mt. Rushmore this 4th of July weekend. In the visitor center Tom Brokaw narrates a film about Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who carved the four Presidents’ images—Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Lincoln—into the granite. Brokaw says of those who worked on the mountain, “… these were ordinary men accomplishing extraordinary things.”
It made me think of our Christian faith. Yes, we are ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things through Christ. In fact, this testimony came to us this week.
It’s a hot topic, with everyone from academics, pundits and politicians discussing it. President Obama even made it a focus in the weeks leading up to his State of the Union address earlier this year.
It’s a worthwhile goal to help lift families out of poverty and help ensure our fellow citizens have a fair shot at economic success. But I would hope that as we work towards that goal, we honestly pursue the underlying reasons that contribute to the problem.
Mary Hunt was cheating on her husband. Her tryst, though, wasn’t with another man – but it had the power to destroy the marriage just the same.
The secret Mary hid from her husband was about her financial infidelity – to the tune of $100,000 in credit card debt.
Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in our nation. Granted, most couples don’t carry a credit burden as deep as Mary and her husband’s.
Francis L. Thompson and his wife managed to raise 12 children who not only all have college degrees, but who paid for their education themselves.
Most importantly, their children, ages 22 to 37, all share their parents’ values: self-respect, gratitude and a desire to give back to society.
In a recent article, Thompson shares how he and his wife accomplished such a feat. He provides a lengthy list of things he considers they “did right.” You might not agree with every single item he includes, but you’ll probably think his advice is good food for thought.
It’s a tough economy. Jobs are scarce. Many of today’s college grads are entering the “real world” with considerable student loan debt.
For many parents, what this means is that their adult children will “boomerang” or move back home with them after college.
Can you relate? I’d love to hear from you – both parents and the returning young adults.
Millennials face other consequences from their financial pressures, though. The harsh reality for many 20-somethings is that they believe they can’t afford to get married, because that would mean combining individuals who have a five- or six-digital student loan debt total between the two.
Summer is officially here, and along with it traditionally comes a season when many families take time to vacation and be together to rest, regroup and have some fun.
I say “traditionally” because such vacations may be becoming increasingly rare.
There are no legally mandated paid holidays in the United States, but many businesses and organizations do offer their workers paid time off as part of their compensation package. However, Americans leave as many as 175 million available vacation days unused in the typical year.
There is endless talk these days about the looming “fiscal cliff,” the catastrophic economic nightmare that many predict will befall the United States if taxes go up and government spending is significantly cut come January 2, 2013, as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
To be sure, the stakes are high.
But all this conversation about an economic cliff has got me thinking: Is there a moral cliff? And have we already reached it – or are we walking dangerously close to the edge?
No, that’s not a typo.
For the past 40 years we’ve been calling today “Black Friday” – a term coined to reflect the date when stores would financially move from red (loss) to black (profit). Back when accounting records were actually kept by hand, the books were tallied with black and red pens.
I am in no position, nor do I have any desire, to criticize retail establishments for hyping today and trying to turn a profit.