Finished reading "Getting Ahead Gets Harder" from msn this morning and I just have to shake my head. No, I don't think that getting ahead is any harder than it ever was (talk to any member of the previous generation!) and I think articles like this only perpetuate the blossoming belief that people "can't make it" and ensure folks feel sorry for themselves. (reminds me all of those people I see who can't possibly be held accountable for their actions, or they defend their children even though the evidence is clear to the contrary, or those folks that think they cancut in line).
Ridiculous. Okay, so things have changed, we have to be responsible for our actions and our families in different ways than our parents did, but it doesn't mean it's any more difficult than what they had to go through. This pity party that's running through the airways is disrespectful to the personal power people have within themselves. While I was in college, I screwed up. I didn't work as much as I could have (even though I was a single mother) and I spent way more of my student loan money on things I didn't need because I was trying to make myself feel better through those "things." My fault, no one elses and I don't appreciate other people trying to blame similar mistakes on too much advertising, or the government for making credit so easy, or anything else people decide to blame their own stupidity on. Take Responsibility. The people on this site always inspire me because they are taking Responsibility. Trying to achieve their goals and fix their mistakes. Awesome.
What we really need articles on is perspective (Yes! magazine is good for these). While I was living in northern Europe for a year to finish my schooling, my ds and I lived on pasta, bread, fruit, vegetables and milk. I didn't go out, we lived in a one bedroom garden apartment, but our time there was a very high quality of life. My ds went to a fantastic child care, I studied at a great university, we went hiking up mountains on Saturdays and I learned that there was no need to have all of those things I'd left behind in the U.S. In fact, when I got home to my storage unit, I threw most everything out/gave it away/sold it because I just didn't need it anymore. It was a very great feeling! And one that people don't have to go to another country in order to experience. Get rid of the cable, get more involved in communities and the workings of your city. There are so very many ways to make a great life without lots of stuff. What do humans really need, anyway? Food for the body, food for the mind, food for the soul, shelter, and clothing, right? Well, I'll step down of my soap box, now. I know that there are people who really have it rough, but I've also seen a lot of people who make $30K a year in our city and think that they just "can't make it" on that salary. I see these same people with brand new cars, expensive, large apartments/houses, big screen televisions, eating out a lot and all those things that are completely unnecessary. Yet they believe these things are vital to a happy life (ironically, they're not happy). Argh. Oops, sorry, I started again.
The article struck a cord, I guess.
On a different note, I hope everyone is doing well with their 2006 goals and that everyone's remembering what is truly important! I am on the last legs of "A Million Pieces" and remembering what it was like to be involved with an Addict. The book has brought back some memories that I had tried to forget a long time ago. Very good book.