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Values

September 30, 2010 2 comments

When I grew up, I was taught to work hard to get ahead.  In fact, my mother often said  “el que no trabaja que no coma” or in English “he who does not work, neither shall he eat“.  But they didn’t just tell me that, my father worked 6 days a week doing physically intensive work and when he got home from work he would start helping out my mother baking cakes and flans to ensure that my sister and I had the things we needed and received a quality education.  I will be eternally thankful of their sacrifices and for the lessons they taught me.

Unfortunately, I think that far too many in our society lack ambition and drive to move ahead.  It really bothers me when I see people who have no goals beyond receiving welfare and living in “projects”.  I know of people who are part of the third generation in their family to live in a “project”.  What used to be  temporary assistance to empower people to move ahead has become their livelihood.  I don’t think this is fair to the taxpayers but even more importantly to themselves and their dignity.

On the other hand, I know so many who go out of their way to belittle those who have less than they do; people who think that all the poor are poor because they want to be poor and don’t want to get ahead.  They have money and think they have no responsibility to the society that helped them get to where they are today.  They also often forget that it is the working class that buys the products that their companies/businesses produce.  This lack of care is just sad in my opinion.   Although I’m not religious, my parents always taught me that you take care of those in need, that our neighbors are our brothers.  This level of greed is damaging and dangerous.

These problems are also manifested in our mainstream media/culture.  Children grow up watching advertisements 24/7 and have people like Paris Hilton as their role models.  They are taught that in our society, work and education are not valuable, but that the more things you have, the more valuable and happier you are.

We must reach a delicate balance to address these issues.  Greed and sloth are very destructive qualities.

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