Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

John F. Kennedy challenged every American to contribute during his inaugural speech.  Click here to read it.  If he were still with us today, he would be surprised how many deny his pleas.  I confess my guilt.  I asked my banks to help me when my income declined and I could no longer meet my obligations.  I asked my state to assist me with grant money for my children for college.  I'm no longer a contributor but a taker, instead of filling the bucket, I'm a hole in the bucket.

I could blame the banks for their unwillingness to change the terms of my bloated mortgage.  I could blame the IRS for charging penalties when I cashed in my retirement account to fund day-to-day expenses.  I could even blame congress for teaching me it's okay to just borrow more when you're in a bind.  Instead, I remember the words of John F. Kennedy.  I remember where the greatness of this country comes from.  Today I make this promise to myself, my family, and my country.  From this day forward I will be a better example.  Here's my pledge:

  • I will no longer borrow money and live outside my means.
  • I will cut out all unnecessary spending.
  • I will ask "what can I do for this country?" and stop asking "what can this country do for me?"
The strength of this country comes from admitting our weaknesses.  It's time for my family to be an example.  It's time to cut up those credit cards.  It's time to ask congress to stop spending money it doesn't have.  If every one of us follows the advice of John F. Kennedy, then we can restore our families and our country.  Care to comment?


JP said...

Thank you for being so courageous. We should all follow your example. I have gotten rid of one credit card. I am endeavoring to pay down the one remaining so as to live on what comes in. I only have two of us to support, no children in college, no mortgage, etc. We are learning to live on less and still support those who are in need - time and talent sharing can do this.

Michael Mulligan said...

Way to go, JP. You are on a great path. Keep it up.