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“Family Success is a Team Sport”

African American news - Editorial - family success a team sportThe subject of success and factors that influence wealth is a subject that necessarily involves personal activity and also involves external factors like Government action. Here, I address the subject by addressing both personal and governmental factors that affect a person's ability to be successful.

The success of a family whether it is financial, health maintenance, or just staying together is a team sport. If there are two members of the family, they must pay attention to and show concern for the each other's financial, social or health. Too often, selfishness slides into the family's plan for success, and all is lost.

Financially, if one party is working and the other spends his/her time spending up all the money, you have a problem. The same applies for the situation where both work and for some reason one party thinks their earnings are their personal money and the other party is expected to pay the bills. There is a problem.

Health is also a team sport. In my household I work in the yard. That, plus some exercise of mostly push ups, sit ups and a history of playing some type of sports like tennis or basketball, helps me keep fit. I do a little cooking but the division of labor generally finds my wife in the kitchen. If she wants to help keep us fit she watches the salt and sugar content of what she cooks. Too much of either (sugar or salt) is a bad thing for your health.

And then there is the weight problem, which is cured by a healthy ego and a daily visit to a good bathroom scale. Yeah, I know I am meddling now, but you know it's the truth. The problem with weight is that it slips up on you because of bad eating habits developed when you are young, when you can, and do eat anything and everything. The problem is that when the high weight, lack of exercise, and high age meet it's a habit. Then, taking off the weight is difficult. Your feet, your legs, your heart and your joints all have a way of complaining. My remedy: Go out and buy a couple of tennis rackets and a basketball and find the closest park or school ground and schedule a day there. It can be fun and the benefits are wonderful.  Also, the more exercise, the longer the sex life and the marriage. There, I've said it.

As we approach Father's Day, I say the greatest gift to father is a book about family parenting and how to love your mate as much as you love yourself. Too many young men grow up without a father and they learned how to be a father by osmosis and their buddies in the street. Osmosis may be okay for some low level animal organisms and plants, but it just doesn't have a good history as a role model for being a good husband and parent.

As the world watches America meltdown economically and socially, we should have all learned a lesson or two that could benefit us personally. The lessons are about greed and selfishness and how they may make you economically rich, but eventually you pay a price in your personal life. Bankruptcy, lack of morality or economical downfall is the result.

The Bush years were a continuation of the Reagan plan to have two classes of people in America; the very rich and the very poor, down with the middle class. For those who are realists, they remember the Reagan years as years where he did away with as much social welfare programs for the have-nots as he possibly could. California's mental health organizations were destroyed and the homeless phenomena mushroomed. Going to College was an inexpensive venture that increased the middle class who used education to move up in the world. Rags to riches was more than possible.

The unions that were fighting for a better life for the working man and woman of America were dealt a death blow when Reagan fired all the Air Traffic Controllers, instead of negotiating with their Union. Clinton continued the attack on the poor by changing the rules for welfare recipients to get them in and off of the public dole. After all, if that money was going to the poor how could he steal it by giving big money contracts to big business and large corporations? George Bush perfected the reverse Robin-hood plan to take from the poor and give to the rich, by creating a war that, in turn, created a market for rich corporations like Haliburton who then showed disdain for America and moved to Dubai, so they wouldn't have to pay taxes in America. All this plus big business bailouts, tax credits and subsidies for the rich, control of Congress by corporate lobbyists, writing laws that benefitted the rich and not the poor, abandoning the Buy American strategy and outsourcing jobs, sending money to Swiss banks and the Cayman Island banks to avoid taxes while asking for more tax cuts for the rich.

All of these things have one thing in common with the subject of family; they were detrimental to the larger American family and went to weaken and destroy the middle class, while making the rich richer. God has a way of leveling things out. So now we have the BP oil spill which has taken some of the profit out of the crooks in the oil business, while opening the eyes of Congress to the fact that they must pass new laws to protect American families and its middle and poor classes. The bottom line in this double set of influences is: (1) to maximize those influences that you have some control over; and (2) support politicians and political solutions that are in your best interest.


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