FIVE IN THE STREET: HOW TO PLAY LIFE WITH HAND YOU’RE DEALT

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“Just because you were born at the bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay at the bottom.”


For myself, as with many like myself, I am starting my life from humble beginnings. And when I say humble beginnings, I mean growing up poor. My mother is what you would call the working poor. Where one missed day of work, one sick day could have placed her, my two sisters, and myself in a homeless shelter, or worse in the street. But does that mean our lives have to stay that way? No, it does not. Because living in America, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My two siblings are currently steadfast in their careers, and am actively pursuing my own path in life. So if you’ve been dealt a bad hand, how do you win with that hand?

Well, for starters, it comes by way of education. At a young age, my mother started to invest in our education. And when I say invest, she didn’t have money set aside for us as children. But she did make sure that the schools we went to were good enough and safe enough. She waited in lines to enroll us in school. She didn’t sleep in the bed and not make an effort to get us into a good school. She made it her mission, at times sacrificing her own well-being. Even though we were in public school, with my oldest sister attending private in high school, the schools were decent. The school wasn’t a place where all the kids were focused on being cool kids. You were encouraged to expand your mind past how you were being perceived by your peers. So you were able to focus on your education.

So now that education was taken care of, my mother cultivated a household where our minds could grow. At a young age she would take us to the library where we took part in various activities: reading, writing, and putting together puzzles (which was an activity I loved). We even had times on Friday nights when she would have long conversations with us about life. Little did I know those conversations and those weekend trips to the library were getting us prepared to deal in life. It taught me patients, hard work, persistence, and dedication. In addition, I also have to not forget those trips to the zoo and museums, where we were encouraged to have an open mind to many different cultures and experiences.

So now that my sisters and myself are adults we can pursue our own endeavors with the confidence needed up to this point to succeed. So what does all this have to do with winning with a bad hand; well, a lot. Everything that I was taught growing up, in combination with my own cultivated intellect, we have always been able to prosper. Now, everyone did not grow up in a household where their talents were nurtured. Some people have some very tough lives that are far beyond my life. But understand, that your story and my story is not unique. There is always someone that looks like you, and have come from where you have come from to succeed. So in the end, there is always going to be people dealt a bad hand. Some will overcome their struggle and others won’t. Sadly enough, that’s just some of the outcomes of life.


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MINDLESS MINDFRAME: HOW LEAVING YOUR SMALL TOWN MAY BE FOR THE BEST

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“When you think big and they think small.”


Do you come from a small city or town? Are the people where this place exist carry a certain mind frame that causes you to disconnect from them? Me myself, I come from one of these type of places. The city is a place you probably never heard of, and a population of only 78,000 people. A lot of the younger generation continues to still move away. And the population is still continuing to fall as time progress. Well, why is that? Why are the people leaving this seemingly quiet town. Well, first and foremost, the jobs have left. What was once a thriving Midwest manufacturing city has been reduced to vacant factory buildings. But another reason is because of the thought process of the people.

You probably ask, what makes it tough to live in some of these types of places. For starters, people have a hard time seeing past their current situation. To them, this is it, and there is nothing past this. And not just in a negative I am a failure way. But also in a manner where whatever is the well-known organization to work for, people flock to it like it’s working for Goldman Sachs. People walk around like this place to work for is the greatest and if you can’t get a job here, you must not be worth hiring. It’s like, “I’m a supervisor over at this place.” It’s about levels, as with anywhere else in society. Yet the level is not a real level. They are sharks in a pond, but when but in a bigger city, they become clown fish in the ocean. But what is another reason to leave your small city/town?

Another is how people look at the world as it pertains to the social landscape. I was walking down the street here in New York City, and a guy had on a baseball cap. The logo was of the Confederate Flag, and in addition he sported some sunglasses. And judging by the way he was carrying himself, he thought he was making a statement. Almost as if he wanted to say, “All these others are afraid to express themselves.” “But I’m going to be me in this overly liberal environment.” And sense the language is so sensitive, he thought people would react. Because he probably watched protest in NYC on television and figured he’d express himself. Yet no one told him on a daily basis that no one pays much attention to you. But his lack of knowledge made him look like a loser in his hat. Because he just watched TV like Fox News or CNN, and that’s how he based his perception of a liberal city.

Other reasons you have to make moves from these places is because few people have a sense of vision. People look at you and say, “No one from this small town is doing that.” And if you attempt, people will try to bring you down so you have to leave. They will be afraid of your progress surpassing them. And they think they know you because whatever family you came from as well. Kind of like, “Oh, that’s so and so’s kid.” “I been knowing his family, they up to no good, he must be as well.” So you have to go to a city where no one knows or think they know your family. This way you can start from scratch and represent yourself. And in the end, that’s the just of moving. There is a mind frame that people define as comfortable, which keeps them from growing and you as well if you stay. But lastly, don’t move elsewhere thinking your life will change. Because you have to think different yourself.


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NOT QUITE THERE YET: ARE YOU NOT IN THE PLACE YOU WANT TO BE IN LIFE

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“The long arduous path that is success.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re not in the place you want to be in life? Like you should be or thought you would be a lot farther by this point? Well, I am about to turn thirty years of age and I am working toward a career as a writer. While working toward this career, I am working two part-time jobs. And that sounds fine when you are a twenty years old, but not when you are thirty. Because when you are thirty, you are supposed to be a certain place by this time. You should be on your way to finding your first starter home and thinking about children, not writing. But I am pursuing a career I love, rather than a job I have to go to everyday.

So here I sit, in this moment writing. And to cope with the long road to writing success, I try to observe those that started around my age. And you see they had their first success at about mid to late thirties. Now I gave myself a ten year time period to break in as a successful writer of screenplays, playwright, and novels; with a little lightweight film/theatre directing. Now that I have gotten myself out of the way, what are you pursuing that your life isn’t where you thought it would be? We have all these visions when we are children of the things we will do as adults. But when we become adults, everything is up in the air once you are in the world on your own.

And everything is really up in the air if you have no clue what you want to do with your life. You typically spend all your time working, then coming home and existing. So the days turn into weeks, then weeks to months, and months to years. And before you know it, life has past them by, and they have not attempted at anything in life. And that is the scary feeling people have of not quite being there yet. They even see people their age making life decisions, going in the right direction. Yet they are still not there themselves. So they find any reason to avoid people they know out of shame. Why, well because we always compare ourselves to people that are around our age.

But what happens once people younger than yourself start making moves in life beyond you. That’s when you really start to feel uncomfortable. Seeing a new younger generation making moves that you feel you have not made yet. And what’s crazy, that young age group will feel the same once they reach my age. See, in the end, we don’t want to live with the failures. But we also don’t want to live with the idea of people saying I told you so. Trying at something and constantly failing at it over and over again. But I remember reading a quote by Thomas Edison which stated, “Many of life’s failures didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” But the real question is, how do you know when you’re close?


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WHEN THERE’S BLOOD IN THE STREET: CAN SOMETHING GOOD COME FROM THESE HIGH CRIME NEIGHBORHOODS

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“Do you see the gold in the street?”


The famous quote coined by Baron Rothschild was, “When there’s blood in the street, buy.” It makes sense because people are in a panic. So when you buy, and the panic starts, once the panic is over you own a lot. And that’s how Rothschild gained his wealth. By sending the news regarding the Battle of Waterloo led by Napoleon, Nathan Rothschild gained an edge. He made one of biggest fortunes in the city at that time. The Rothschilds gained while everyone else was in a state of panic. Why, because he had an edge by being one of, if not the biggest carrier system in Europe. So he was able to deliver news that even his competition had to follow.

Now, let’s fast forward in today’s society. I grew up in an inner city community that was poor. Not only that, but the crime was high in the areas. No one wanted and still don’t want to buy property in the communities. Now, with what Rothschild did back years ago, could that be used again today. Gentrification is a prime example of that very Rothschild model. But, why not the people capitalize who are from these areas. Especially once they get enough money where they can afford to do so. Then again, how does one feel about buying property and capitalizing off of the misfortune of others. But, someone is going to do it, why not people who come from the community.

When I look at my home town for example, the low cost of property is amazing. Now that I live in New York City, where $1 million is average in some places for a home, that money is major back home. But can you just start building just because property is low? The answer is no, you can’t, why, well there has to be something there. There has to be industries or industries willing to move in and skilled labor to work jobs. So buying property when there is blood in the street only works under those kinds of conditions. But in addition to the environment conditions, what about the vision for where you want to see the place you’re investing in to be in the future. You don’t just throw money at something, you have to be skilled to grow it as well.

I look at a city like Chicago, Illinois for for example with high crime areas. No one is investing in those areas because of the obvious. But another reason is the skill of the people who are going to be working there in those areas. And, what do you plan on converting the area into. Hyde Park is a nice neighborhood where some if not a lot of people may work in the city. What about bringing city jobs to the Englewood community next door? Or better yet, Bronzeville is another community located in great proximity to downtown Chicago. Chinatown is in the middle, which is a great gateway of economic growth. Not only that, but if possible, you could bring the two communities together, creating a mix of diversity that could also contribute to the boom.

In the end, there is truth to the blood in the streets quote. Now whether you’re comfortable with investing in the areas, that’s up to you. Some people have invested, but then wound up losing money. But a guy like Nathan Rothschild, who had access to information was able to capitalize, some would say. You do also, it’s all about having the eye for being able to see the potential, then moving on it.


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