A Dose of Debt Reality

Today, I attended a support group for individuals with crushing debt suggested to me by one of my readers.  Even I did not realize the situation was this bad. Yes, I may be irked by the government profiteering on our backs and the steady decline of the value of a bachelor’s degree simply due to the hubris of those who should be obtaining a vocational degree; however, I find my life to be rich in love, friendship, and purpose, despite any monetary shortfalls.

Today, I learned about those of my peers whose debt burden has led to health problems, divorce, and even suicide.  Listening to their stories, I sat there stunned.

In 1982, my parents got married.  My mother, the math major, crunched the numbers and told my father that they could not get married because the cost of starting a life together exceeded their income.  My father, ever the romantic, told her that love would prevail. He did so with such passion that she did indeed walk down the aisle to hold his hand and continue henceforth on the adventure of life together.  

As the Wall Street Journal corroborates; however, this is not the story we will be telling our children (if we ever can afford to have any).  {cite article}. Honestly, that fills me with a profound sadness. Until one has children of one’s own, life should be a journey of oneself. Not necessarily easy, but rewarding in experience and self discovery.  It is these life lessons that inspire the next generation to achieve greatness beyond their forbearers’ dreams. If we take away the hope, the positive experiences, the fulfillment, what exactly are we passing to the next generation?

Tomorrow, therefore, it is imperative that we fix the problems of today.  We must stop sending our future trades people to obtain degrees they do not need.  We must stop corporations from underinvesting in their most valuable asset, their employees.  And, dear god, we must sponsor programs like Third Estate’s Forgiveness Fellowship to throw a line to our future generation of parents, so that they do not drown in debt, the American Dream, unachieved.

 

Sincerely yours,

The Pragmatist

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