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Don’t blame the Supreme Court

July 1, 2012

Who makes a bigger difference in your life: these nine or you?

If it is to be, it is up to you and me

I get a kick out of passionate posts on social media after major events such as the Supreme Court ruling this past week on health care legislation. Apparently, when an independent judiciary branch interprets a law passed by the majority of an elected legislature, signed by an elected executive, we have turned into a communist country.

When watching the news and reading Facebook posts during the past couple of years, it has become common to compare the United States to a communist country with every change from our national health care decisions to our local school board decisions. Underneath it all, I think it is setting people up to feel like they are victims.

It is easy to blame an individual’s lack of success on something else. “It’s the economy, it’s the president, it’s Congress, it’s the coach, it’s the county commissioners, it’s the mayor, it’s the sheriff, it’s regulation, it’s the school board, it’s the heat.” All of these are excuses people use to explain their lot in life.

I went to church this morning and I wasn’t worried about the military coming in and arresting all of us. When I voted in the primary last week, I wasn’t coerced into picking a candidate chosen by the government. Every day, I get to decide whether to go to work, or not. Every day, I have the opportunity to look for new ways to make money and improve my finances. When I watch the news, I have a variety of independent stations from which to choose.

We still live in a free nation with a lot of opportunities. We may have obstacles that make it a little more difficult to get where we want to be, but we don’t have to let these challenges be an excuse for not reaching our goals.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this week, re-assert your independence in your success. Start with changing your self talk. Instead of saying, “I can’t succeed because of [fill in the blank:  Congress, the Supreme Court, the heat, et cetera]” start telling yourself there is a better future for you thanks to your talents, skills and abilities. Then, make it happen.

Following is a poem of an unknown 11th century monk, which I believe can give you perspective in this situation:

“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town, and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

“Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.”

Regarding the Supreme Court decision, the important debate we need to have is who should have access to health care and how we can reduce the costs. When you lay out your arguments either for or against the health care legislation, please do your research and find information that isn’t extremely biased in one direction or the other. If you are getting your research information from Rush Limbaugh, Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann, please remember the following quote, “Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

This also is true with your personal finance. Do your own research and find independent sources. When you are visiting with a financial advisor, he or she will have a bias based on how he/she earns an income. Financial advisors may have good information, but be sure to verify what you are told by third party independent sources.

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