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Any person who contributes to prosperity must prosper in turn.
For of those to whom much is given, much is required.
John F. Kennedy
The community of which I speak is OURS. We, the members of our community have forgotten where we came from, forgotten how hard our parents and grandparents had to work for us to be where we are now. If you are reading this post, you are blessed. Blessed financially because not everyone can afford to be online. Even with smartphones, when you add in the automatic data plans, you have a major bill every month.
So, if you can please hear my cry and heed my request, our community will be all the better for it. Many of our new middle class have responded by giving their children every single "thing" that they ever wanted. Nothing wrong with that when it is tempered by also givng them the tools the need to excel in the real world. Those tools would be a great work ethic and teaching them the value of a dollar.
Children learn from what they see. They also learn by what they hear. When you don't pay a bill, but go shopping for anything other than food, that registers. When you avoid bill collector calls, that registers as well. It promotes financial recklessness. When you assign your children weekly/daily chores, then do not hold them accountable for not completing those chores you detract from the lesson of work. When you get a call from a teacher or neighbor advising your child has misbehaved in some way and they are told to mind their own business, you devalue community and accountability for personal actions.
Today, we have little children following around mama’s who spend all their time on the damn phone. It breaks my heart to see a child with a parent who is not paying the least bit of attention to them. When I walked with my children, I used that time to interact, to discuss what had happened that day, to talk about what was going on around us. WE TALKED to each other. Whoever is on the other end of that phone can wait.
While this would not normally be the forum for this message, it is my only "private" forum to a black audience. I ask each of you to talk to your younger brothers and sisters (figuratively) to help them understand that paying attention to your child has VALUE. Educating your child on the joys and wonders of the world has value. While lots of outings require money, purchasing luxury cars for high school students in public school offers no value. If you really have that kind of money to throw away, your child should be in a private school.
I refused to give in to my children's requests for $150 tennis shoes (thank you Michael Jordan). While I did get them Nikes, I would not spend MY hard earned dollars on something so trivial. You want to know the funny thing? Both of my children's first jobs were with Shoe City (thank YOU Shoe City). Do you think either of them purchased those tennis shoes with their 1st check? Of course NOT. They both told me even with their discount, they would not be spending all THEIR money on no tennis shoes! I laughed my ass off, even they had to laugh at how absurd their requests were.
Then there are the mega churches who do little or nothing for the communities they are in. If you belong to a church that has no community based offerings (food pantry, youth programs etc.) while you may consider tithing to be all you have to do, consider this: Tithes pay your pastor and keep your church lights on. Christians are called to do what they can in service to OTHERS.
Just saying, we have a lot to offer our community. When will you step up to the plate and stop complaining about "those people?" When?
Michelle D. Smith
Michelle D. Smith is a visionary and spiritual warrior seeking to share awareness with many. She uses words as her sword and the love and grace of God as her shield. She has a spiritual blog in which to enlighten and uplift. She is a soon to be published author and a monthly relationship column on Black Refer.com. The different niches for each allow her to reach a variety of people to amuse, entertain and inspire.
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