Let’s face it, America has some serious problems right now and it seems as if the segment of our society that should be most concerned, isn’t. We seem to wait until an issue has reached the point of no return, as with the Troy Davis situation, to begin to demand justice. We wait until the eleventh hour to become concerned and think that someone should jump to help us.
Middle Class America has lost its voice because we lack the two things that speak loudest in our society – money and knowledge. Many of us are doing ok for ourselves and even have degrees but we are not wisely using our resources and our society is suffering.
We have become so focused on looking “rich” by purchasing luxury cars, big houses, designer clothes/shoes/handbags, etc that we have lost sight of the true American dream – to become wealthy. Having wealth and being rich are two totally different states of life. Rich means you may have some money today to do the things that you want to do but there is no guarantee that you will be in the same position one year, five years or ten years from now. Having wealth means you have a plan to secure the future of your children and grandchildren. A great book to read, The Millionaire Next Door, dispels many of the myths that we have about millionaires and how they spend their money. It’s a shame when your kids are wearing $100 sneakers but have no college fund. You have a $500 purse but no retirement account. We have to get out of the mindset that we need to show the world that we are rich and start planning to becoming wealthy.
The first step toward wealth creation is to invest. Not just investing in the stock market but invest in yourself, invest in your business, invest in your community, invest in the social causes that matter to you. Yes, having a Louis Vuitton travel bag is nice but imagine if you donated that money to the local Boys & Girls Club. You would be impacting the lives of future generations. We complain that the government doesn’t do this and doesn’t do that but how often to we ask what can we do? How can we make our own situation better? Why should the government always step in to fix our problems?
I don’t know if you watch the news but with the way things are going, there is a party that wants to create a system that will require you to fend for yourself because guess what… they have created enough wealth to fend for themselves and they don’t care how you do the same. They know that the playing fields are not equal and they are counting on you to keep obsessing over Kim Kardashian’s wedding and Beyonce’s baby bump so that they continue making money and creating policies that will ensure you never progress. Rather than being proactive, we have become reactive and don’t get involved or enraged until a situation reaches a point of no return.
We lack an understanding of not only foreign policy and how it relates to our economy and security but many of us have no idea how our local, state and national governments operate. We claim to be “winning” because we are achieving some measures of controlled success in our lives, however the true win comes when you have the ability to influence change through your wealth and knowledge. When a crisis occurs in our community, do we know who we can pick up the phone and call to make something positive happen? Have we achieved any measure of influence that will allow us to be a positive force in our communities?
When our counterparts become outraged about an issue, they have lawyers, lobbyists, judges, etc that they pick up the phone and call directly to influence change while we complain because our cause is not a trending topic. Their ability to influence is a direct result of their wealth, investments in what’s important to them and their knowledge of the system. It is time for us to wake up and realize that we, much like during the Civil Rights struggle, must band together to effect change. Our problems today transcend race because middle class America encompasses people across a broad color spectrum. They are counting on us to forget, to not understand, to not mobilize our resources so that we can continue to believe that we have no power.
Troy Davis was just one recent example of a perceived injustice in our society, however our society is on the brink of an economic meltdown and we – middle class America – are the ones who will be most greatly affected yet we are standing by idly as if the problems will somehow fix themselves or the Congressional leaders being led by their own self-interest will save us. It’s time for us to find our voice and save ourselves.
Today should be the day that you find out who your state Senators are, who is representing you in the House of Representatives, which issues will be on the ballot in November 2012 so that you can start position TODAY and not next year, what solutions are being proposed to fix our economy and what is the stance of your elected officials? We can’t just rely on the news to inform us of what is happening because they report the “sexy” news, you need the real news. We need to hold these people accountable and if they are not representing our interests, we need to call them out and vote them out.