Tightening Our Fiscal Belts

“First master the fundamentals.”     ~Larry Bird, former NBA star~

Wouldn’t it be an exhilarating moment if most humans suddenly believed passionately that success was a given?

For a majority of the inhabitants of this planet, the barometer for success is set on survival.  Yes, we do mouth words of motivation, hope, and encouragement to each other, but we don’t really believe that a life above the rat race is anything more than a whimsical notion.

We talk of getting a great education and a great job for ourselves and for our family members, but education alone is just a ticket into the waiting room for upward mobility.  Once inside, you must perform…and the competition is more keen with every passing hour.

There must be and is more than one way to skin this success cat.  Rising up the corporate ladder or making it as a professional athlete are certainly admirable vocations for a scant few of us.  But life tells me that not everyone has the mental and physical stamina to get up from a knockout punch or the one hundredth.

Resiliency and resourcefulness are probably the most significant attributes of all well-adjusted, financially successful people from all walks of life in all corners of the planet.

To be resilient and resourceful requires the proper moral and fiscal education from early childhood.  Here are five suggestions to make our children and our societies truly successful:

1) Delay gratification.  Much to my dismay, the modern child in the affluent countries/families of the world are often permitting their children to scream and cry and pout until they will get what they want.  I suggest saying No to such familial terrorists before they become undisciplined monsters as adults.

2) When a child wants new clothes, buy them only after the child has designed and made the same by him-/herself.  That’s rough, yes, but the point is to teach children economy, conservation, self-sufficiency and creativity.  Be an example for your children.

3) Economics and money management should be taught in the schools from the first grade onward.  This financial training will allow educators to comfortably cut math classes in half.  One of the reasons why so many people in affluent societies claim they are struggling is because not a flaccid soul ever taught them the basics of money management and how money works.

4) All communities should employ retired tradesman such as carpenters, plumbers and car mechanics to teach free or low-cost children/adult classes on how to repair things.  Citizens who complete such seminar-based classes will be entitled to a tax reduction or a stipend for completion.

5) We must read – not just trash or time-killing magazines and comics – but books which are called classics.  If you don’t read, you can’t write.  If you can’t write, you are at a profound disadvantage in the marketplace.  Words are power and lead to advancement.

This a tough, competitive world we live in.  The job and security many of us were taught to cherish has never been anything more than smoke and mirrors.

It is now a defining moment in our aging industrial societies which are so dependent on the “easy” and the “convenient.”

If our children and grandchildren continue their addiction to a soft, undisciplined life based on cheap oil and endless opportunities arising, then both will be taken from us shortly.  There is only enough to go around when we are resourceful, prudent, economical and concerned with the common good.

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