Sunday, February 5, 2012

GTOC Blog 11..."relearning" Society through our Youth.

When I was growing up in small town Frankford, I only knew of one single parent and I am sure she was a widow.  I am sure there were more, however compared to the differences today, I am positive there has been a complete reversal.  I am always looking for that one married couple with children.  So the  norms of our society have changed.

In my married years, decisions were made based on two incomes, buying a house, a car or two, taking a quantity of adventurous holidays, having a quantity of children.  There was no planning for "what if there is a marriage breakdown".  Good marriage or bad marriage, the decision to separate was just becoming the norm of society. Today's progressive generation actually incorporates the "what if" situation into their career and life plan.  Admittedly a sadness for the sanctity of the marital contract, this does however change the raging statistics of unprepared single parents thrust into basic survival instincts within the world of social assistance.

In my attempts to determine the why's and how's of single parents ending up on social assistance so that I could earmark trends to be encouraged or discouraged within our young when campaigning within the Public Awareness tour, I realized that my goal within GTOC is to positively affect the statistical trend. To accomplish this I have utilized my experiences and the experiences of many single parents as a baseline of where to further encourage today's youth to become a part of the statistical trend pulling away from the need for the protective pillow of social assistance.

The Pre-Children Years of Marriage were spent picking one career focus and sticking to it, earning two incomes. The husband as a standard still earned more than the wife thus most decisions were still based on the husbands income with the wife's as a "cushion".  A nice house for a young couple not extravagant but a good long term investment and maybe a little better than where we came from. Interesting car choices with again the long term quality investment intent.  I would need 20 fingers on 4 hands to name all the countries we adventured to.  Even in a bad marriage, this way of life seemed a solid enough long term investment to make the decision to bring children into it, after all we knew our parents had good and bad times emotionally and financially.  Clearly though with the average woman still earning less than her husband, there remained the financial dependency, so should there be a separation, the wife's financial status would change dramatically.

Today's progressive youth,  focus on education with the knowledge that they will probably require more than one career in their lifetime either through "life changes" or company "attrition".  They decide to buy a house together knowing should they separate, it can be sold and each can retain their status within society.  It is purely a financial planning decision. The house is well maintained, decorated, landscaped....ready for sale at any point in time. Cars as well, are a status symbol and not purely a means of transportation....have you noticed less cars on the road with rust spots on them?   And travel.....I remember people who had never made it out of their province, never mind their country.  Today's youth awake each day with emails from friends all around the world.  They expect to meet, travel with even work with.  Undoubtedly the Internet has expanded our community into the entire world.   If their relationship does not progress well as they develop roots within their careers, life style, worlds, after much effort, they separate, still able to maintain a semblance of their financial lifestyle.  (Don't misunderstand, I believe in the sanctity of marriage, probably more now having lost mine.  I simply have chosen not to address it within the confines of this blog.)

The Children Years of Marriage for me and for many required many of us who were raised with the father as the sole provider and the mother as the home maker & nurturer, to make the decision to have the parent with the lowest salary, usually the wife, remain home to raise the children.  Although the majority of women my age had college diploma's or university degrees, we wanted our children to feel the nurtured upbringing we had growing up. Unfortunately the nice house, the interesting cars, the travel which were all based on two incomes many times affected the financial status of the family.  However, it was worth the "sacrifice", children are our commitment to the world's future.  This did however make the wife fully dependent on the husband's salary and by withdrawing from the workforce affect her ability to return to the workforce at the level her education and experience maintained on leaving.  Each passing year absent from the workforce increasing this.  The years change people.  Life experience changes people.  In some instances when things get difficult, a difficult situation (a bad marriage) can amplify bad decisions, can amplify abusive situations, can create truly irreconcilable differences and separation must occur.

Today's progressive youth, love their children as much as we loved them.  There are no differences or debates there. However their children spend much time learning, networking, socializing with other children within day care facilities, while both parents maintain their work status. No one parent is dependent on another.  In the beginning we believed day cares were not advantageous to our children because nothing could replace the consistent mother's nurturing within a secure family atmosphere.  Now with the norms of society adjusting meaning less secure family atmosphere's, both parents usually having equality in status and income and both parents undoubtedly involved in the children's multitude of activities (ie: play dates, sports, education), the day care facility is the modern families avenue to investing in long term financial and thusly family emotional stability.  Should this family separate, I generalize but I have seen the norm being both parents maintaining active caring roles in their children's lives and both parents having the financial tools/capabilities to maintain stable financial lives for themselves and their children.

The GTOC Role in Affecting Change:

The 40-60 year old separated/divorced mother, who struggled through social assistance & minimum wage jobs, raised her children within or off and on a social system that does not support a vision of higher education in women, simply an emergency cushion and a push back into a minimum wage workforce struggle.  These are the women GTOC is reaching out to.  The children are older or grown, the mother has no financial stability due to the years of struggle, no current higher education to give her compatibility back to a career she was previously educated for.  GTOC is looking for this woman who still has the drive to work hard with GTOC structured support & tools to become her potential. Thusly to end the cycle of poverty here.

Today's dependent youth,  caught in the struggle.  Most have had divorced parents with one or both ending up on social assistance.  It remains the people stuck within the poverty cycle of social assistance and their struggle for survival that eventually breaks down the barriers and our dependent youth focus on survival versus education, co-habitation to ease the financial burdens of bills, minimum wage jobs that barely make ends meet and eventually the cycle of poverty continues with the addition of babies, partner separations and increased dependency on social assistance.  GTOC is reaching out for these young women and their children.  Reteaching them the dignity of self, the pride in attaining goals, the belief in their own potential to be viable self sustaining contributors to community and to teach their children the same.  Thusly the effort to end the cycle of poverty here.

Today's high school teens,  are a mix of progressive youth and dependent youth.  GTOC's  Public Awareness Campaign goal is to talk to them about focusing on higher education.  On the availability of hope and opportunity for those who cannot find it now or in their future life experiences. Where needed rekindling their drive for the full experiences life has to offer as viable self sustaining contributors to their communities.  Thusly attempting to arrest the cycle of poverty before it begins.

Today's children,  are a social mix of who we are, of who we extend ourselves to be.  Irregardless of their family's financial status, we have the opportunity to teach them the beauty of quality in life.  To enjoy reading.  To be creative in their writing.  To explore their imaginations through love of education.  Through love of life experiences around our community....the world.  GTOC, through Veronica The Storyteller, is attempting to show our children the joys of reading, writing, imagination, creation and through pride in who they are by doing storybook readings with our young.  By encouraging our children to join in the creative process, to have fun participating in the creation of the next story to be told. Thusly reinforcing their natural ability to continue to enjoy their lives becoming viable self sustaining contributors to community....our world with no need for the cycle of poverty.

I have generalized much in my effort to put forth an opinion that essentially is intended to extend my belief that it is our responsibility to end the struggle in the cycle of poverty in our own communities and that our youth and our children are forming our community's society trends of the future.  Let's support them in attaining the end of the cycle of poverty our world. .....

Our role as community is to spread the word.  If you know someone who can benefit from the structure within GTOC, connect them.  The information is here, show them and let them decide.....V

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