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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book Recommendations

Scratch Beginnings

I heard the author of this book on a local talk radio show last night and he really impressed me. Let me give you a basic synopsis:

He was a privledged youth who went to college (I got the impression mommy & daddy paid for it) but when he graduated instead of jumping into the world of work he took $25 (yep that's it) and hit the streets for a year to see if he could make it with the skills he had learned.

He lived amongst and became one of the homeless living on the streets and in shelters. He worked odd day jobs and saw what most people only think they know. He saw drug deals taking place on the steps of shelters, he saw people spend their last $5 on a bottle of booze while their family starved.

And he made friends....those who were trying their best to get out of that world. He learned advice from one man which got him a job in one single day---yes one day.

Some other points he made:
There are plenty of jobs out there, but people give up too easily.
If you are assertive with yourself, selling yourself to managers you WILL get a job...usually in a few weeks
Don't be afraid to take temp. day jobs or hard labor jobs....they will help you in the long run.
40% of the shelter-living homeless are trying their best to get out.
of the other 60% aren't trying to get out of the life, 95% of them are dependent on some sort of chemical..either drugs or alcohol.
That when families sat down to eat women got the lesser of the food...makes sense, they would be sure everyone else got fed first.

When asked about the social programs in America and whether they really helped seeing that so many of the homeless weren't trying to get out....he said that if the programs help one family get out of the shelters and get on their feet then they are worth it.

Now I never thought of it that way....and he does have a point. That it is really hard for some people and giving a definite date/time line as to when they will lose their benefits can actually make things so much work...so at what point to we let stand on their own two feet? He didn't say...he just believed that the government should fund without disgression by the sounds of it.

Not to give away the ending but he mentioned it in the interview....after his year was up the had an apartment, had a small nest egg in a savings acct (something like $3000-5000), had regular food on the table, clothes in his closet, and a full time job.

So what did he do with his degree? Nothing. He wrote this book and is busy traveling the nation promoting it.

When asked if he went back to the shelters to tell the friends he made about what it was really all about, he said no because he was afraid they would feel betrayed and he didn't want to do that to them....he had more respect for them than that.

The book is supposed to be filled with anedotes of how he was treated by people in society, his temp bosses, how he was treated by the shelter communtity, and about a single group of people who made a difference in so many people's lives.

I am planning on getting a copy of the book for my oldest son's birthday....it sounds like a great inspirational book.

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