Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Outlook and Circumstance

I have two young ladies straight out of college that work in my office. This is their first full time job in life. I have been working full time since I was 18 years old. A few times a week a discussion will come up about some place or something in the world that I would like to see. This morning it was Italy. I have never been able to pay for that trip. Their ass has always already been there twice. They also seem to have friends from here that are now living on every continent and none of them are in the military. How many people from the hood have friends just hanging out in Rome watching TV? Genetically, there is not a difference in people when it comes to thinking. The difference lies in backgrounds and influence. I am 31 years old and have never been out of the country. The brothers and sisters I know that have been able to travel never go further than the Bahamas or Mexico and they had to work ten years and get a payment plan for that three day cruise. These other folks get trips to Europe as graduation presents in high school. One of the girls here is Jewish. Her brother is going to Israel for a few weeks just to "hang out" and he doesn't have a job. I have never been able to go to the Ivory Coast for a month just to kick it. When you are a kid growing up in the hood, your view of the world is boxed in. Your mine revolves around the 10-block radius that you claim. If there was a kid in my class that had been to California or Chicago, he was a worldly man by our standards. Our circumstances box us in mentally and it continues for our whole life. That's what the armed forces recruiters sell kids in the hood on. "Join the Army and see all the places you will never have the urge or ability to see for yourself." Sure, there are people who move to other cities when they get older but usually they end up in another community like the one they are from just with allot more money involved and they stay there the rest of their lives. Their kids don't travel either because the parents have to work two jobs to come up with that house and car payment. I wish my parents could have sent me to Italy or Japan for my graduation present. Who knows, I may not have returned. I am sure they would have liked to sent me if they knew I really wanted to go. I guess they were focused on buying other things for me like food, clothing and shelter. Traveling is the example for today but there are many areas of life where the same theory holds true. How many kids in the hood get to see an opera, mountain climbing, sailing or scuba diving? Your outlook is heavily influenced by your circumstances.

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