This is for all of the young people who work not for the glamour of a dispensable income but for gritty survival. It is for the youth who do not work for the newest apparel marketed to us by corporate America because we are too busy supplementing the income of our own parents, and filling our minds with dreams grounded in the same fantasy that breathes life into dragons and twirling fairies.
Thus the flashy lifestyles in which we pop bottles and pour it over the lustrous young ladies forever by our sides are only attainable through the nostalgia brought on by a favorite song. And they dissipate every time we must cash this reality check and end up with the dust and spider webs of our government’s heart long gone in our outstretched palms. And they wonder why we have balled them up instead.
Many of us went to work, spending hours tirelessly making meager sums of money that barely covered daily expenses. The rest of us fortunate enough to be able to dedicate more of our time towards school would just be fooled a little later, when we came face to face with staggering loans and the interest that brought the tower of debt crashing down onto us. I, myself have been struggling fiercely with managing my own debt, and I am only in my first year of college. It amazes me that student loans are on par with credit card debt in this nation. How can you possibly compare the carnal desire for further knowledge with the recently acquired trait of wanting what we can’t have?
I recently watched Tavis Smiley’s Remaking America: from Poverty to Prosperity Symposium and of all of the profound things said, I learned that if you are living in poverty you will more than likely stay poor. We are unable to afford education, and as a result we lack the education necessary for the occupations that would lift us from this wide-spread poverty, with roots that snake up our family trees as far back as slavery.
I agree with Tavis Smiley; while poverty should always have been a top priority for our government, there is absolutely no reason that in a nation as prideful and boastful as our own one out of two Americans should live in poverty. It is a sad day when a person speaking up for their rights is unheard; it is a sadder day still when someone who can (the other 50% not living in poverty) does not help his own neighbor.
The symposium featured Cornel West, Princeton professor and public intellectual; Suze Orman, finance guru; Michael Moore, documentary mastermind; activist Majora Carter, author Barbara Ehrenreich; Vicki B. Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America; and Roger Clay, Jr, President, Insight Center for Community Economic Development.
I truly believe in what was said tonight. Change is imperative; but we must let go of this firm grasp of dreams in which we are wealthy and we dance with sugar plums. This nation, and subsequently the youth or “our future”, will not get better until we are able to face reality and make it known that we will not struggle against poverty nor debt anymore.