Sunday, October 28, 2007

Financial learning- my father

Over the past 6 months or so, I have spent a lot of time learning about finances. I've come to understand that I, like most people have been completely clueless on the subject. It's amazing that a person can go through 6 years of school and only have a single lecture about personal/family financial management.

I look at my father. the man has worked hard all of his life. 12 hour days. He truly is and has always been a workaholic. Yet, he still lives in abject poverty. Truly abject poverty. It's terrible. I feel bad about myself every time I go to visit him. He lives in an old broken down trailor in a row of trailors out in the middle of no where. I lived there when I was 15. There was plywood to keep us from falling through the floor, and ripped plastic to fight the cold wind from getting through the broken window. It was colder inside in the winter than outside. We had to boil water to take a bath. My step sister later became bald because of the water we were drinking.

Well, now he's moved next door, to a slightly nicer trailor, only for his situation to become far worse. He got really hurt at work several years ago. Since then, he's only been able to get spotty work - from a guy that usually doesn't pay him. He's survived only off of the church. Most of my step-mom's 5 kids, their kids, and their kids are all living there and mooching off of my mostly unemployed father. None with jobs and several doing drugs. It's a mess. It's a virtual sess pool, where everyone meets the minimum of their potential.

I have, of course, given him money from time to time to help out , but it hasn't made a lick of difference. I could hand the man 50k tomorrow (if I had it) and it still wouldn't improve their circumstances. They might pay off the trailor, but the money saved would just get sucked away by the sess pool.

Having grown up partially in that environment, I know how much they despise "rich" people (aka- even folks who are in lower middle class ranks are "rich" to them.). I know that I now qualify as "rich". I feel miserable about myself every time I think about my father.... I'm comfortable. Maybe if I shared, we would both be ok. But the truth is, it doesn't work that way. (see the previous paragraph).

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