Well we're waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved.
So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Iron or coke,
And we're waiting here in Allentown.
But they've taken all the coal from the ground
And the union people crawled away.
Every child had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got.
If something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our face.
Well I'm living here in Allentown
And it's hard to keep a good man down.
But I won't be getting up today.
Marty worked dang hard in undergrad and got himself into the Harvard Business school. He did well. Came out of school with a great job. A few years later, landed an even better job. But, when the economy turned sour and his new company cut expenses—Marty became the most expensive item on the spread sheet and the first thing cut. Now, middle aged he’s too expensive for hire.
After thirty plus years of being a stay at home mom, Lindsey , recently divorced, decided to go to school to become a radiologist technician. The program was difficult, grueling. Two thirds of the class dropped out, but Lindsey hung in there, worked hard, graduated near the top of her class. But, she ‘s close to sixty—and even after all that hard work, she’s unemployed.
The stories continue and the debts mount. People who played by the rules- who worked hard, who ‘behaved’- aren’t finding their promised Philadelphia. And it’s hard, sad and disappointing. There’s no mitigating that, but do the graduations hanging on the wall- really not matter at all?
The scriptures tell us:
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
Doctrine and Covenants 130:18&19
And not just intelligence and knowledge, but also perseverance, tolerance, patience, determination, and a host of other admirable qualities. And although we can’t hang those attributes we developed and honed while pursuing an education on the wall, no one can take them away from us either. They are an indelible part of who we are. Regardless. Not everything comes with a dollar sign attached.
But, still the price for those attributes may have been high. Debts might have very possibly been incurred. Here’s a debt elimination calendar to help.
“Mark off several columns on the left, write the names of the months, beginning with the upcoming month. At the top of the next column on the left, write the name of the creditor you want to pay off first. It may be the debt with the highest interest rate or the earliest pay-off date. List the monthly payment for that creditor until the loan is repaid. At the top of the next column record the name of the second creditor you want to repay and list the payments due each month add the amount of that monthly payment to your payment to the second creditor. Continue the process until all loans are repaid.”
Marvin J. Ashton
“I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can and free yourselves…If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts.”
President Gordon B. Hinkley
If you have debt, begin a debt calendar.