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Does where you’re born affect your opportunities?

Do you have the ability to pull up your boot straps and pull yourself up or are that only available for those born and living in an ideal location? If you are born in one place, grow up somewhere else, move to another, marry someone from somewhere else will your outcome be determined from birthplace?

I heard a speaker address some of these questions and they seemed to indicate that our outcome is determined by our birth address. Let’s unpack this. While I believe if you were born into a life of personal luxury (or just normal, no violence, everyone pretty good to each other), good parenting, nice home, no needs and the ability to attend college gives you a leg up, I am also of the belief that failure and dependency knows no such boundaries.

If you are born into poverty, good home life examples hard to come by, concerns over your next meal and housing, childhood education likely subpar with not much opportunity to advance, you do in fact sit at a disadvantage. Not many doors open there. Do you have to stay in this location for all eternity?

What if you are born into a broken family, making ends meet, okay education and know others with a better life? Perhaps there is a beginning there. However, what decisions, choices, opportunities or lack thereof are in front of you? Which way do you go?

What I wonder is are you completely destined with no choice to move up or down.

  • To apply or not apply yourself
  • To try drugs or become addictive or abusive
  • To know when to ask for help and when to accept it

Or is it possible to move away from your advantaged or disadvantaged life or move away from your childhood experience?

While we are growing up we learn from what we see, experience and all that is around us but do we or are we completely committed to our young environment? Do you know someone whose early years were that of disadvantage and they improved and thrived to be someone to be looked up to? Do you know someone who was born into all the right aspects of life and are struggling as an adult? I am just not sure every person is destined from birth.

There was love and broken love in my family. I was born into a lower income household, parents divorced and we did some moving around. I saw bad behavior, abuse and poverty. I looked around and made a choice to not be another part of this legacy. It was hard work, my examples were not great, work ethic was not strong and dependence was all around me. I fell down and got up again and again. If the above was true I should not be a success story but one still living in that impoverished town with drugs on every corner. I should have a couple of children out of wedlock and be part of the system.

Not everyone has the strength and courage it takes to thrive and change their direction but I do not believe it should be assumed that it is written in stone that one’s future is in place at birth. This is the reason I became interested in coaching, helping others and sharing encouraging tips by looking at things one small step at a time. I too was someone who needed a champion and I had one and as an adult it has been my mission to be a champion for as many people in as many ways as I can.

Now I may have left out a few points and there are those who will argue some of the points but these are my beliefs. We are born with a mind and what we do with it in the end is up to us. Easier for some but as Mr. Roger’s mother said “Look for the helpers”. Let me be your helper. –Terri


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