The start of the Junior and Leaving Cert exams this week at last brings into focus what life is really all about — the next generation. Yes, all of us struggling to come through these difficult times being distracted by so many forces along the way — job losses, income reductions, tax levies, welfare cuts, education hikes, bank bail-outs, stock market crashes, foul tempers, and anxious states of mind, etc — are entitled to feel important too but really, our role is merely to lead by example.
It’s not that life ends just because you become an adult, but rather that you tend to see things from different perspectives. You also come to understand that everything is attitude. When you study all the platitudes regarding self-fulfilment that tell us we must remain positive, focused, looking on the bright side, eventually it hits home. We have freedom of choice to choose how we go through life. The power is in our own hands. We are truly blessed. Remember that next time you decide to wallow in your own misery and blame all the problems of the world on your sorry state. Things could be so much worse. You could be living under a dictatorship. You could be back sitting the Leaving Cert.
Otherwise this week we learn that English is now the number one language in the world and has therefore been dubbed ‘globish’. This should make us feel even luckier still, considering most of us are raised speaking English despite Irish being our ‘mother tongue’, which in turn makes it so much easier for us to integrate and earn a living in other wealthy parts of the developed world such as America and Australia where English also holds sway.
Of course everything comes down to money and earning potential in the end, and new trends emerging in the economy at the moment show just how enterprising people continue to be in challenging times. Micro-financing is the latest fad, and a cleverly creative way of getting around the issue of securing credit and money loans. If the banks are going to continue saying no, people power can provide the solution with private individuals queuing up to provide cash to feisty entrepreneurs.
This is not debt collection in reverse. The system is accredited and managed by reputable operators. Why is this happening? Simple. Those making the loans are prepared to offer them only to businesspeople with a proven track record who just want to stay in business. The micro-loans, which range anywhere from €200 up to €15,000, carry low risk and a minimum return for the investor. However if the same investor makes multiple loans available to a whole raft of entrepreneurs he or she stands to make a tidy little profit, and hence the spirit of enterprise continues.
Hopefully this quick-fix option will be of assistance to the business community here in Mayo, some of whom have been relating tales of desperate measures to secure finance in order to stave off going bust. Other business people talking to us at the Mayo Advertiser this week highlight some other worrying developments with regard to staff employment, with one food operator revealing a total of 10 people lined up for interview never bothered to turn up. Others who did and were offered jobs went on to perform a 'no-show' and when contacted, revealed they were happy doing nothing on welfare payments.
The 55,000 young people sitting their Leaving Cert this week aspire to become like the role models they admire. Why not give them a chance to shine by being one of those role models in how you live your life every day.
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