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Are You Prepared?

When I was a pre-teenager growing up in Bakersfield, California my folks let me join the BoyBlack news from Pasadena - Editorial - On being prepared Scouts organization. I remember the Scout motto was "Be Prepared." As I grew up I never forgot those words and when I recently heard a story about a family where the father had lost his job as a Stock Broker and his million dollar house was in foreclosure I thought that this was a guy who was not prepared.

As a Stock Broker he had earned up to $750,000 per year. He had decided to go into business for himself and opened another Brokerage house. It was something called a "hedge fund." Today he was earning $7.65 per hour and tips delivering Pizza. I couldn't help but think he should have bought a Pizza Parlor when he was riding high, but he didn't.

II  can't seem to get this guy out of my mind because he is an example of probably seventy percent of Americans not prepared for hard times. Ask yourself what you would do if you lost your job. Of course that is assuming you have a job. And for those of you who don't have one what would you do if your meal ticket went dry. Meal ticket can be mom, girlfriend or whoever you are using to take care of your needs.

I don't have an answer that would fit everybody because everyone's situation is different. Some young men have never seen anybody get up everyday to go to work. They may not understand that they have to work, but they must find it in themselves to do just that or they will end up in the underground economy and ultimately in jail. Of course their needs will be met there.

I find it interesting that the Cosby show is off the air and there is nothing to replace it. Does it set too good of an example for young Blacks looking for their place in the world? I know a lady who is a lawyer today because of the image of Claire Huxtable and I would bet there are young Black doctors who are doctors because of the Huxtables. We know there are gangsters and gangsta rappers because the media spends an inordinate amount of resources putting this garbage in front of Black youth.

The media even changes cultural preferences with their images. Remember Dennis Rodman and his ugly tattoos, piercing and hair. Well as you watch your favorite basketball game you will see that the tattoos have been accepted as the norm. It's still ugly.

My father was a good example of someone who had limited resources but he was prepared for bad times. He never earned much money from his job as an automobile detailer, but he spent it wisely. In addition to his job he was always buying and fixing up an old car and re-selling it at a profit. As a note, the White men he worked for would never let him be a salesman on their car lot. That was just something Black men didn't do. I guess they just didn't think a Black guy could do that. Wrong!

When he died our family home was paid for. It was bought from a White doctor in 1956 and it is still in our family. Think about it. He provided for his family and for the next generations by that one purchase. He not only provided a roof over our heads but a life long lesson in being prepared. We learned to buy and sell. We learned what was important.

We never had to worry about being poor because we saw him get up and go to work everyday, just like Michelle Obama's father did. In her case it was with a handicap I guess with my father the handicap was his skin color, but they did what they had to do anyway to take care of what was important, their families. We kids just followed the example set by those old men and hopefully we are setting the same example for our children.

The funny thing is for Black families the example of hard work seems to have gotten lost with the present generation. They can't work because it is not the fashionable thing to do. I mean how will young men expect to get hired on a job when they want to show of their drawers all day. How do they expect to work when they have to spend two hours per day using their hands (that they could be working with) pulling up their pants?

They are either not smart enough to buy a belt, or some ex convict who is a rapper teaches them that that is cool. I laugh at the world that won't teach the young men that they are on the wrong path because they want them to be free to express themselves. There isn't that much freedom in the world. You must pay for your freedom, but paying for it by making yourself unemployable is just plain stupid. Just like the guy who earned $750,000 and is now delivering pizza because he did not plan for hard times; you need to be prepared. So what will you do when you wake up one day and you are thirty or forty and you have nothing to show for it? Mothers check your young men.  Using President Barack Obama as an example, tell them that it is time for a Change.


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