The daughter of a family friend has never held a real post-college job. She’s worked for a friend of a friend, she started a business that didn’t make it, and now she’s a “consultant.” Oh, and did I mention she’s living in subsidized housing? Yes, at age 30, her parents continue to pay her rent, car, insurance, and credit card bills. Hand me a barf bag— I feel the need to upchuck before I scream… GET A REAL JOB AND STOP SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY!

I know, it’s rough economic times. I suppose I should go easier on wealthy politicians as well as wealthy princesses who find themselves surprisingly unemployed. Yet, when I see an attitude of entitlement, it makes me crazy— not compassionate. How can we expect things to get better if excuses and blame is the go-to for so many people?

One of my favorite expressions is, “.” We’re so much more productive when we just stay focused on what it is we want to achieve. There are always reasons why something might not work, or how hard it will be to reach our goals. And yet, the opposite can also be true.

I’m inspired by young people who take chances, have a positive outlook and take responsibility when they fall short. I used to work with Trudy. She was a young divorced mom who moved to Chicago from a small town in Wisconsin. Trudy lost custody of her young daughter because of a serious drinking problem, but that was in the past when I met her. Right away, she let me know she made mistakes and she was paying for them: Child support payments to her ex-husband that equaled 25% of her gross pay.

Trudy lived in a tiny basement apartment and carefully budgeted her money. She saved any extra so she could go back to Wisconsin as often as possible and visit her daughter. Somehow, completely on her own, she managed to get by on a low wage salary. And she realized her dream of being sober, and living an independent life in the big city.

There are everyday heroes in small towns, suburbs, and big cities all across the country. I love to hear their stories, told in their own voice and spoken with honesty and pride. We’re expanding our to include features on women like Trudy, who have a courageous spirit. If you have such a story, or know someone who does, please let me know. We’ll share it with others on our radio channel, website, and social communities, so that women everywhere will be motivated to strengthen their resolve and live life on their own terms.


I pray for You to be with me
in the moments I need inspiration
to fulfill my life's pathway
with creative moments and joy.

I know my journey consists of
more than just monumental events,
but is filled with day-to-day activities
that lead me to my greatest work.

I find my joy and inspiration all around me
because You have laid it there,
right in front of me.
A beautiful sunrise, a golden sunset,
my children laughing, my husband gleaming,
the dogs wrestling, the wind caressing my skin.

All of these are Your doing,
but each of them inspires me
to be more than I am right now.

-Michelle Hankes


more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad