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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Become more self-sufficient and responsible in New Year

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As the year 2007 enters its final days most people will be focusing on the New Year with an entirely new set of goals and resolutions that will probably be forgotten about by the end of January.

What I’d like people to do these last few days is to really think back over the past 12 months and remember what you did that positively impacted others. In addition, I’d like for you to remember the goals you set to accomplish within the year and observe the ones you actually accomplished.

Sadly, as many of you reminisce on the positive impact you made on others as well as the accomplishment of your individual goals, many of you will fall short.

This is the holiday season and yes we should all be happy and jolly, but let’s not lose sight of reality. Every year around this time, more and more of us obtain tremendous levels of debt for the materialistic nature that this season has become. We spend hundreds and thousands of dollars that we can’t afford all to appease particular wants — not needs.

In doing so, many of us start the New Year off on the wrong foot of achieving one of the most popular resolutions: saving money or becoming debt free.

What I’m tired of is Black people living beyond their means and not being responsible for themselves or their actions. The reason I’m focusing on Blacks is because we represent a very large amount of the country’s buying power, but we’re also at the top of the poverty list. The two don’t make any sense, nor do they add up. Another reason I’m talking specifically about Blacks is because you are my people and we need to take more of an initiative to improve ourselves.

As a people we’ve got to do better. We need to become more self-sufficient and we have to become more responsible. Though this may sound harsh, it needs to be said. I’m tired of us being the laughing stock of other races and communities.

What I’m also tired of is the way many of us look to others for help or “a way out.” What happened to finding your own way out? As adults, those of us who don’t have any mental limitations are blessed with the ability to work and problem solve. We just have to stop being so lazy and actually figure a way out of particular situations.

It hurts my heart to see so many people give up without even trying. Granted many people are caught-up in a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself, so they lack the skills necessary to move forward. For those people, there are many services and organizations that can aid them in evolving such as WorkOne. However, because it has the word “work” in its name, few people take advantage of the services.

Blacks need to stop being so complacent. Period. We need to stop thinking that certain things are “owed” to us simply because we are Black. Let’s work to “get” the things we “need” ourselves, but let’s do it in a positive and legal fashion. Let’s be more motivating. Let’s strive to actually accomplish more of our goals, no matter how large or small. Let’s just do better. Perhaps the title of Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint’s new book says it best: Come on People!

There are many Blacks who are leading productive, hard-working lives. Despite what many may think not all of these people are wealthy. You can have nice things, pay your bills on time, and live a happy life without being rich…you just have to be realistic with your approach.

When I was in the second grade working on a science project, my teacher said something that was applicable to the subject matter, but also life in general. She said in order to make something better, you first must realize the problem. Once you learn what the problem is, then you can make a hypothesis to determine how to correct the problem. So, as the year nears its end, I hope we all realize the areas in our own lives that we can improve on. I also hope that we discover tangible solutions to our problems, which in turn will make us not only better people, but also an improved and more effective race.

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