ZERO PLUS 1071 DAYS--New York, NY, Monday, August 16, 2004--There’s
a new kind of Terrorist stalking the children. It’s the
Beast of Credit Card Terror. Physical Terrorism
is only one approach to weaken the resolve of a nation. Another
is to wreck its financial foundations.
Terrorism is attacking our youth
Lower Manhattan has legions of armed
guards protecting Wall Street and other financial headquarters
near the World Trade Center.
Beast of Credit Card Terror is a cancerous injection into
But only a few are protecting the 15.6 million vulnerable
children who attend America’s 4,182 colleges and get hooked
on credit. If credit cards were treated like drugs and alcohol,
perhaps America wouldn’t be enslaved in the quagmire of
personal debt in which it currently exists.
According to an article in the Christian Science
Monitor, the average credit-card debt of US households soared
to $9,205 in 2003 from a low of $2,966 in 1990. This
debt reinforces the sad state of U.S. personal savings--just
under two percent versus around eight percent from post World
War II until 1980.
But the frightening threat of American debt is the
cancerous injection of its malignancy into the young, especially
college students. American Demographics magazine
reports that 1 out of 7 Americans by the age of 21 have more
than $7,000 in credit card balances.
One college is fighting the Beast of Credit Terror.
The University of Minnesota banned credit-card vendors on campus
after a health study linked credit-card debt to depression,
drinking, smoking and declining grades. The University of Minnesota
is a leader in the Sentinels of Debt Vigilance battle. But,
is it the college’s job to parent the children about the
Beast of Credit Terror. That’s the big question. And,
there is a solution.
Good or bad credit habits are passed down like manners.
With 190 million credit cards hungrily sitting in people’s
pockets and purses, there’s a lot of “bad credit
habits” being passed on to the children by default.
Only about 38 percent of cardholders pay their balances
each month. In many cases, paying the minimum, depending on
the interest rate, can make the balance last for up to decades.
America and other nations that spend now and
pay later may not realize the threat to a child’s security
by growing up with a financial noose around his or her neck.
Debt becomes the Master and the debtor the Slave.
Not teaching a child to be as wary of debt as he or
she might be a potential suicide bomber is a form of parental
negligence. Fear of being a slave to debt haunts people to a
state of complacency where they resign themselves to be “forever
owned” by others. About thirty percent of the population
believes they will never be out of debt—an unjustified
surrender to the Fangs of the Beast of Debt Terror. Is
there a solution?
A Parent of Vigilance has many roles. One of them is
to teach the child “Not to be like me…” This
attitude requires a “Parent Of Debt-Free Vigilance”
to not accept his or her own bad habits in the financial arena
as a genetic disorder, but rather as a lesson to be reversed
regarding one’s children.
Admitting errors is the first step in resolving debt.
Vigilant Parent teaches the child "Not to be like
A family that is burdened by debt can take a positive
attitude about working together to remove the debt—and
make it a team effort with a common goal that benefits all.
If a Parent of Vigilance sees the future safety of the child
including being free from the Beast of Debt, the impetus to
change will occur.
The Family of Vigilance can make a vow to work on resolving
the debt. Family budgets can be installed. Parents and children
can work together on reducing the pressure to “buy now
and pay later” by saving for things and paying for them
in cash, where ever possible.
It is the Vigilance of Prosperity for the child that
can break the legacy of debt passed on by previous
|The Family of Vigilance
works together for family security
When children see that parents are “working”
on reducing debt and that the goal is to enrich the family,
they realize that where sacrifices are concerned those sacrifices
are for a goal larger than themselves. It is for the “family
security,” not for selfish reasons.
Often parents feel “guilt” or “shame”
that they cannot afford what others have or cannot give their
children what other children have, and drive themselves into
debt in an endless race to “keep up” with the Joneses.
By making “debt reduction” and “family financial
freedom” the goal, and holding up rewards that the family
can benefit from as a result—vacations, college funds,
etc—then everyone is working toward a common end. Sacrifice
now becomes an investment with powerful dividends.
But nothing can be changed without a commitment.
You can start by taking the Pledge of Debt Free Vigilance.
Showing your children how to reduce one extra
dollar of debt sends a big signal--that nothing is so bad it
can’t be made better if everyone works toward the same
OF DEBT FREE VIGILANCE
We, the family of ____________________________hereby
vow to work together to reduce our debt and to become
a Debt-Free Family.
We vow to do our best to reduce
our Debt by at least One Percent at a time on a monthly
basis and to set up a Family Goal that we all will benefit
from when we achieve it.
We realize that it will take Courage
to overcome our Fear of Saving, and Conviction to help
overpower our Intimidation that we should spend now and
pay later, and, it will require Right Actions that benefit
our Children, and our Children’s Children’s
Children to overpower the urge to become Complacent and
fall back into old, bad habits.
Therefore, we ask for the support
of the Sentinels of Vigilance to help us fight the Beast
of Debt and to aid us, as a family, to be Victorious in
our goal to be Debt Free so we can be Masters not Slaves
this Vow of Vigilance On This Day: __________
T he Month of _______ In the Year of________________.
All Family Members:
__________________ _________________ ________________
__________________ _________________ ________________
To Yesterday's Story "The Pregnant Belly Of Olympic Vigilance"
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