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oes this kind of thing actually happen?  I am told it is a true story told just a few days ago by an 8 year-old to a stranger.

“When I was a boy, all I wanted was a ball so I could throw it back and forth with my dad.  Then, one day, a package came in the mail and to my surprise there was a ball in it.  I was overjoyed as I threw it up in the air and caught it.  I bounced it on the ground and caught it.  I threw it against the side of our house and caught it.  It was great fun and I could not wait for Daddy to come home to play catch with me.

That night, after dark, Daddy finally came home.  He was tired and in a bad mood and I knew I shouldn’t ask him to play catch, but I did anyway.  I got what I thought was a very strange reply when he said OK.  We had never really played catch before and I was 7 years old already.  As we walked out the door together I noticed three black cars with their police lights flashing as they came down the street.  Daddy said hurry, let’s throw the ball a few times before I have to leave.

I didn’t know what he meant, but a few minutes later and Daddy went away in the back seat of one of the cars.   Two days later, I saw Daddy on TV.   He was a banker and he was put in jail for selling something call a “high-risk loan” product.  The newslady on TV said there were thousands of men like him that were being rounded up and put into jail because they ruined our economy because of their greed.

I askd myself, well, what about all the people who bought the loans and were happy to have homes so they could play ball with their children?  Why wasn’t it their fault, too?  Why didn’t they go to jail like my Daddy did?  Don’t they know that I was supposed to play catch with Daddy? 

Mommy got so upset that she didn’t even want our live-in nanny to cook dinner.  She said she would rather go to the country club and get away from all the phone calls from Daddy’s “friends.”   She said some other Daddy’s we know were away with my Daddy for a few days, too, and we were going to the (country) club to find a new Daddy.  Maybe he will play catch with me.”

Perhaps if the Daddy in this story had taken time to play ball with his son, he would have realized the true worth of what home means.  A safe, secure place for  a family to live…to run around, to toss the ball around a little…to grow together and breathe in life together.  

It’s kind of profound, and more than a little unsettling, to realize that the love of money has replaced most, if not all, of our better judgement.  Rethink your actions.  Rethink your priorities.  It’s the very least that you could do for your family and for our country.   Then, consider making conscious choices as you borrow money. 


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