A teacher provided an exercise for his students. It is an instructive one and I hope that you watch the video.
Joe’s Perspective – Wealth and Privilege: It’s the old adage, you can’t choose your family. We are born into the family we are born into (period). You didn’t choose your parents and you had no impact on the choices they made before you were born. These choices provide the foundation for your young life. This foundation can give you a head-start in life or it can put you in a difficult starting position.
Joe’s Perspective – It’s not necessarily about race: As a white male, I would have only moved up a couple of spaces if I were in this race. My parents were divorced and my single parent never made more than $15,000 a year. Life was never easy and we had many financial difficulties. I know many poor white children with little or no advantages in life. I know many black and brown children whose parents are wealthy with all kinds of connections. The point of this exercise is to understand that we all don’t start this “life-race” at the same point. Some have inherent advantages and some have more obstacles to achieve success.
Joe’s Perspective – Going Forward: Regardless of the life you are born into, if you want to give your children certain advantages, listen to the questions posed in this exercise. Do well in school. Graduate from high school. Go to college or learn a trade. Don’t get pregnant (or get someone pregnant) before you are mature/old enough to adequately provide for a child. Start a career. Choose a solid partner. Get married. Stay married. If you do this, you will provide your children with a huge head-start in the game of life. I promise.
Your Turn: Explain how this video helps you understand how the choices you make over the next 10 years will influence the starting point for your future children.