True, many of us didn’t receive an inheritance, and are living within economic conditions which are very difficult to get out of. However, we as a people don’t realize that, “eighty percent of America’s millionaires are first generation rich,” according to the best-selling classic on the study of wealth, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. What have we done with the little that we have? Have we continued to complain that it wasn’t enough to be sufficient, or have we made the most of it and tried our best to make it grow? “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
Luke 19:11-13 tells me that it is not only our responsibility, but our obligation to be responsible for what we have been given and continue to grow financially. This is our duty, not the government’s, and certainly not the “oppressors” who have discriminated against us. While legislation such as affirmative action is still necessary, and welfare is still needed in many of the inner-city areas of the community (and other areas), many of us continue to use these systems as a crutch. Welfare was not intended as a continued means of living, but only a temporary subsidy to allow that individual or family to get back on its feet. The problem with relying on government programs to shelter and save us is that the government takes people out of poverty. As African Americans, we must work on taking the poverty out of the people.
Part 1: Taking The Poverty Out of the People
Ryan Mack is president of Optimum Capital Management, LLC