The numbers alone can be overwhelming.
Everyday, we are bombarded by news reports – and those who parrot them – reminding us of how dire our economic circumstances are.
Consider how demoralizing it is to be constantly reminded that your chances of finding employment – or holding onto the job you still have – dwindles if you have outdated skills, live in certain regions of the country, belong to specific ethnic groups, or have passed your 40s?
Look at the high percentage of fellow citizens who are out of work, or awash in credit card debt, or underwater on their home mortgage, or reliant on food stamps, or lacking adequate health insurance, or holding too little savings (especially if they lose their jobs or face a crisis), or likely will have to live as paupers in retirement.
If you fall into some or any of these categories, why even bother to get up in the morning? After all, your fate is not your own. You are but a leaf on a raging river, being carried along by forces too strong to resist.
Although millions of Americans, sadly, do subscribe to such can’t-do thinking – and no doubt money misery does enjoy plenty of company – these “helpless” victims of the economy are absolutely wrong.
They are not a statistic and should never think of themselves as such
They are individuals, blessed with free will and living in a country where opportunity remains one of our most abundant natural resources.
Personal creativity, willpower, persistence and a commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed are far more reliable social safety nets than unemployment insurance, supplemental nutrition assistance (food stamps), Medicaid or Social Security. Moreover, they are all well within our absolute individual control.
If you (or a family member, friend or neighbor) are out of work, your unemployment rate is 100%. If you find a job, or create one for yourself, your unemployment rate drops to zero.
It really doesn’t matter what percent of the population was in the same boat with you when you determined to place your fate squarely in your own hands.
What matters is your commitment and diligent efforts to get out of the boat on your own and serve as a shining example of how others can follow your lead.
We can heal what ails our country’s economy – beginning one citizen at a time.
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