Tuesday, November 08, 2005

For Richer and Poorer

How do you help a friend break a poverty cycle? For years, my lifetime, I have known someone that although he made and makes a reasonable living, lives his life with the capacity to only have the next three months in mind. He has never been able to save money and has spent thousands on bounced checks and fees and has even had to declare bankruptcy at one point. He doesn't get it. I think it is the result of being the child of alcoholic parents (they passed within 10 years of each other of alcohol related deaths when my friend was in his 20s). My friend dreams of travel yet never saves a dime and now he seems to be spiralling further by not taking care of himself and as age often does, making his world close in on him. Yet everything remains 'great' in conversation. It is frustrating and no matter how many conversations we have had, nothing has changed.

A large frustrating event is now unfolding because of his lifestyle. A beautiful little beach style house that he purchased for a bargain (at a high interest, adjustable rate with no down payment) is now in foreclosure. 4 months behind in payments and the taxes haven't been paid in equally as long. $8k due. What can be done? My friend tells me everything is fine and others are making things up, yet then tells others that he is a couple months behind but no big deal. The frustrating part is that while saying this, he is eating expensive meals and buying gifts for friends and his grandkids. He never wants to give up his lifestyle. So, I wonder what the heck can be done. The answer is frustratingly, little. I can provide information on alanon or... I don't know. I feel like I've been socked in the stomache. People have the capacity to change yet so few do. What does it take for someone to change?


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