Sunday, October 25, 2009

Do Something!

Snowing again, first delicate flakes, then a sort of machine-gun version. Now it's gone back to a few light wisps now and then. The dogs charged in from their evening romp, backs wet. Husband threw out the antelope horns from our recent furry friend, and the boys enjoy going out there and chewing on them. (The rest of Antie is in the freezer, waiting for stews and Sunday dinner roast.) X Men Origins has been duly watched. (Amazing special effects, but no Great Revelations, except now we know that Three Mile Island is really a testing site for mutants.) A long cozy nap indulged in. The hot chocolate is gone, and it's time for Sunday evening musings, while hanging out on a British website...

A celebrity who, for a week, takes the place of Elaine ---, a single mother (5 kids) in a housing project. She details all the horrors, including a dirty, unkempt house, and the fact that 'I had to do all the housework and cooking!' (She then weakly amends, 'that was ok because I do it for myself and my girls.' Yeah, right.)
She says that the welfare money was barely enough to live on, then just happens to mention that Mom is paying a "doorstep loan" bookie nearly 1/4 of that money. (Sounds like our 'Check Into Cash' places.) She then goes into a speech on how people have to borrow money at exorbitant rates, shouldn't the government pay more so this won't happen, yada yada.

She mentions that she grew up in a similar project ("council flat"); that her mom insisted on regular chores and keeping the house 'spotless.' Then she says something even more intriguing:
"Of course, I accept that there is also a culture of benefit entitlement that has killed ambition. Teenagers know that they will get dole money once they reach adulthood and girls learn from their parents that if they have babies they will become eligible for a council flat. It's little wonder that teenage pregnancy rates are higher in Britain than anywhere in Europe.

"I was fortunate in that I grew up with parents who always worked hard. We may have lived in a council house, but my father Martin went to work every day and at one stage, my mother held down three jobs. Danielle [her sister] and I learned from watching them that we could have better lives by earning our own money.

"I started working at 15, running aerobics classes at the local Mandela Centre in Chapeltown, Leeds, and I also had a Saturday job in a jeans shop.

"Yet Elaine's eldest child, 18-year-old Tyrone, was so uninterested that he didn't want to get out of bed in the morning even to sign on at the Jobcentre."

Hmmm. Is there a connection here? Especially since the next article I noticed was:

A whiny diatribe about being jealous of classmates/friends who've done better than you. The author knew Coldplay's Chris Martin in school, but is ticked off that they don't have a successful band, a pretty actress wife, millions of dollars, blah blah blah. (Whereas I was thinking that Chris would give a lot to walk down the street with his wife without a camera in his face.)

Fiona Harrold, a life coach quoted in the article, has this to say about peer envy:

"Successful people apply themselves and do what they say they're going to do,' she says. 'It's as simple as that. The majority of people are too busy thinking of why it's not going to work and making excuses.

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