No. of Recommendations: 10
Russ, I applaud you industriousness and success, and I fully understand the pride you feel in accomplishing what you have. But I feel I would like to point out some of the advantages you had, that you might not perceive as advantages, but others don't have:

First, your claim that your family was 'close to poverty' doesn't ring true with me. Women go to work when a family is in poverty or close to it, they don't stay at home. Because your mom was at home, you had the advantage of her guidance during your formative years.

Second, your father had a good job, with a good pension and great benefits. Your dad had summers off at the same time you had summers off from school. I'm sure you and he spent a lot more time together than if this had not been the case. So, you had the advantage of this additional time spent with you that many kids don't enjoy.

Third, as a high school teacher, your father obviously had a higher education, and I'm sure you benefitted from the knowledge and perspective that goes along with this.

But, what I learned from my parents was worth far more than any money they might have been able to give me. They instilled a drive in me that said that if I worked hard, saved my money, maintained strong moral values, and held a belief in myself, that I could succeed at any level I wanted to. They were so right!! I set my sights high, and that's exactly where I went.

Based on their experiences, they obviously believed this, which is why they were successful instilling it in you. But the experiences of most people who actually do live in poverty do not lead them to believe this philosophy, thus the reason why poverty is so often described as a 'cycle'.

You will only succeed to the level you believe you can get to. If you believe you are stuck in poverty, or in the wellfare system, that's exactly where you will stay. Money is not the answer to these problems. It's motivation and ambition.

Here you made the point yourself. It's far easier to pull oneself up by the bootstraps if one is wearing boots to begin with.


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