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Long-term value part 1
Written by Gerald Jackson
I had something on my mind as I was in Giant today. I was picking between precooked chicken and raw chicken. I decided that the best product would be the raw chicken, because it had higher long-term value. Then I thought to myself, “hmm maybe I should try applying that same rule to more things in life”. Most humans are idealists, we can tell ourselves that we are perfectly fine with an infinite amount of friendships; when in fact the more friendships you try to maintain, the more watered down they become. We spend our money on material things that may not have long-term value. As a people, what has been the return on investment with the things we indulge in daily and the friends we keep around?
You ever stop and wonder if you have too many opinions from others circulating in your mind? Sometimes we can forget to “brush our shoulders off” and keep beating to our own drum. Straight up, cause at the end of the day, the opposition can’t do anything but hold you back. The fewer friends I find myself keeping up with, the more productive and happy I’ve been. Straight up. Ask yourself, how many true friends do you have? True friends, not your 1,000+ Facebook friends or the left over ones from high school. I’m talking about friends you speak to often and share common interest with. Honestly the older I get, I realize I don’t even have the time of day to care about another man’s issue, unless it’s a true friend. Go ahead, it’s your turn to take a personal inventory, count up those true friends.
In this day & age it’s becoming more & more acceptable to mind another person’s business or to “not snitch” laugh out loud. I never understood why my peers and I put so much value in irrelevant customs. I feel that supporting particular unwritten rules create a false sense of security. According to the 2011 Juvenile detention total in the USA, 61,423 males/females have been sent to Juvenile detention centers. That’s minute compared to the United States incarceration totals. From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled from 500,000 roughly to 2.3 million people. Talk about big business, but my point is- how many people get locked up everyday for “not snitching” #jokes. The absurd value we place on unwritten rules to me is completely #jokes.
My first job was at Foot Locker on 55th & Wentworth, a few blocks over from the former location of Chicago’s notoriously famous Robert Taylor projects. Although completely demolished, the culture in the area is still trying to find itself. Almost like particles in a bucket of water, struggling to stay clear. I noticed many things about the area; from an economic standpoint it was insane! Talk about sneaker shops on one street, dope dealers at every intersection, bucket boys playing their hearts out for a few dollars, fast food at Checkers, and the gangstas posted up at the train station. My senior year I was happy to see a $500 check, but my mom would occasionally take half my money and put it away for the college application process and savings accounts that I honestly had no clue about. At the same time I would see kids, 12- years- old and up buying Jordan’s left to right and then high school kids I worked with never saving their money. It was foreign to me because my mother was always talking about shoes having no value, how Michael Jordan is pimping us all, etc. I mean she would be furious with me for buying sneakers so much. It wasn’t until my later years in college when I started to realize my mother was only teaching me to value long-term items and seek long-term benefits. Many of the people I saw everyday back then are ironically struggling financially with the shifting environment of America. Little things like saving 30 percent to 40 percent of your bi-weekly incomes for a rainy day or for that future tuition payment in college really do come in handy. Instead of being a consumer I wish more Americans would preach to our youth about savings and investing in ventures early. According to CNN Money, only 52% of Americans are invested in stocks- lowest since 1999. Being 22 years old now, I regret spending $150 almost every other Saturday morning from the age of 15 to 19. That’s roughly an estimate well over ten thousand dollars I’ve spent on Jordan’s in my lifetime alone. Ten grand on fake a** leather, with no returning value, no long-term anything. Now watch $10,000 juke a standing investment like Apple Stock, let it sit for years. Now you got yourself a year of college paid off, effortless.
My kids will be hip
All in all, these are just random stories that came to my mind today. Everything in life has a return on investment. Whether you’re wasting your time parlaying with friends, staying in a pointless relationship, not managing money correctly, etc, it is never too late to completely start focusing on yourself. Be selfish and watch your harvest grow or parlay all you want and be malnourished, that’s my rule of thumb.
Written by Gerald Jackson