Recently some events transpired that lead me to think about the future of our kids here at All Things New. We have a lot of work to do, especially for the older kids, to help them begin to plan for what their lives will look like as they enter into adulthood. In a later blog, I will write about how quickly our minds tend to jump to careers when we think about our kids’ futures (even as Christians I think that is our tendency). I am not sure why that is, and I want to think about it a little more, but I will write about that phenomenon next. Today, I want to tell you about what I was thinking about while I was mosquito hunting (more about this later as well) and showering last night before bed.
I concocted an idea in my mind while I was in the shower that may seem a little strange, and you may wonder why my mind went there, but it will give you a glimpse of what I think about when it comes to job prospects for our kids. The scenario that played out in my mind boils down to this question:
“Would I rather my kids finish their education and go to college or be assured of a job that pays them $250/month for the rest of their lives?”
Anyone who is reading this blog right now would immediately choose college for their children and it would be a no-brainer for any American. However, when I was playing this out in my mind, I am not sure what I would choose for our kids. The scenario I thought of was that a man offered to pay each of our kids $250/month as long as they did not earn another penny in any other way or he would pay for them to finish school and go to college in Haiti but would not help them in any other way. So, in a country with an unemployment rate that almost does not seem real and where an education only brings with it a slight edge over those who were not blessed with the same opportunity, what would you choose? $250/month is about 10 times the average yearly wage for a Haitian, so it is a really good salary here and it is guaranteed. At the same time, at least in America, we say that “education is priceless…” but is it?
At the end of the day, this is just a mental exercise that helps to show what I believe about job prospects here and how dire the economic situation truly is. It also can kind of show you just how different and challenging it is down here when it comes time to think through the future of each of our kids. $250/month seems so small to many of us (considerably less than even a low paying job we may have had in High School) and it is hard to imagine a world where that is well above the norm, but that is the world in which we live.