As I mentioned before, I have been reading Robert Kiyosaki's book, If You Want to Be Rich & Happy, Don't Go to School. In it, he discusses how our educational system creates failures. He is a big proponent of becoming a "generalist" rather than a "specialist" because our world changes far too rapidly. We risk becoming obsolete if we don't continue to learn and grow and adapt with the times.
In the chapter on How to Become Wealthy on a Small Budget, he discusses three key ingredients for creating wealth. In his words, he learned them when he lost his business and his money in 1978.
1. He learned humility, committing himself to life-long learning.
2. He found out what it feels like to lose his spirit. He kept his knowledge, but he lost his spirit, his confidence in himself.
3. He learned the value of wealth. He learned when he was about 32 what it feels like to have no "cash flow". Because of it, he committed to building wealth instead of merely chasing the buck and spending the dough.
It's the second one that I learned after I was layed off several years ago. Kyosaki talks about how at one time, he got so low that he applied for government assistance. I remember going to file for unemployment and learning what I would have to do to get it, including standing in line, and waiting for my dole. I could not do it. I did not/could not do it.
To this day, I have never received unemployment check. I was entitled to it; I had worked a number of years for that employer, but my spirit could not endure it.
I am not judging anyone that does receive governmental aid. Instead, I am tremendously grateful that I did not have to take it. My spirit could not have endured it. (I am equally thankful that family stood by us when things did get tough enough to need help.)
I remember using WIC checks for food when I was pregnant with my boys. I felt humiliated even though I knew many, many people do that, especially for their first children. Conversely though, I remember how exhilarated I felt to know that I did not have to be on WIC for my next baby even though it would have been easier. Our budget was tight, but the jubiliation was real!