Tag Archives: ExpiredDebt

metro

Ministry Mondays: Take the Metro, or Take the Debt? Ir en Metro, o en Deuda?

Click here for English & Action Items (below Spanish)…

“ -Fuera lo espera un chófer con un coche oficial.

-Gracias.
Prefiero ir en metro. ”

Como el subsecretario Salvador Martí del Ministerio del Tiempo, ojala que habîan màs funcionarios que nos darîan el buen ejemplo de usar los transportes publicos. A menudo, la falta de transporte publico llega hasta faltar las citas medicas y legales, con consequencia de perder los procesos judiciales que no han de perder, si la persona endeudada hubiera podido llegar a la corte para defender sus derechos.

A corto plazo, otros estados de los EEUU podrîan seguir el ejemplo del estado de Maryland, que ha prohibido las acciónes civiles por parte de colectores de deudas ya pasado la fecha limite segûn el tipo de deuda. Mientras tanto, a largo plazo, reconstruimos nuestra estructura economica para crear la igualdad en vez de crear la pobreza. Los dos puntos de vista, corto y largo plazo, nos urge.

“ -An official car and choffeur are waiting for you outside
-Thank you.
I prefer to take the Metro.”

Would that more of our public officials, like subsecretary Salvador Marti of The Ministry of Time, set the example of using public transportation in our modern day real life.  Mass transit is a crucial part of society’s infrastructure, allowing equal access to transport, and also moving people more efficiently on the roads or rails, while keeping down pollution, two key ways of reducing the background stressors that make it harder for citizens to take active part in the governing process of our democracies.  Lack of transportation also often leads, directly or indirectly, to default judgement on an expired debt which could have been avoided, had the debtor been able to defend in court.  After all, we no longer have debtor’s prisons, as they did in the time of my Work In Progress (or do we?).

Over the short-term, states could follow the example of Maryland, and prohibit lawsuits on all expired debts, while also rebuilding our economic structures to create equity rather than poverty, over the long-term. Both short-term and long-term approaches are needed, urgently.

Action Items:

1.)    Just look up the public transportation options available in your area.

2.)     Try riding them, if you can.

3.)      Look up times and locations for your local Transit Board meetings.

4.)       Ask your local law-makers to put in Light Rail stops to your local airport(s).

Quotes for an earlier important debt-related post came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker.

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Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist(soon…)

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers,  please consider    #ProjectDoBetter.

Shira

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure: Expired vs. Extinguished Debts

This is a topic I’ve written about before, but not in detail, as part of Project Do Better’s Phase I piece, Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure.

In most states, expired is merely ‘unenforceable’ except that you have to defend by showing the court that the debt is expired. That is why so many suits (around 90%) win by default, as people rarely show up in court to defend, and so that expired debt then gets a loss by default, followed by a money judgement, often on expired, and thus Time-Barred, or, unenforceable or even

unvalidated debts, , past the SoL.

Unfair and injust, but frequent.

Two states do ‘extinguish’ the debts after some years (13 yrs, if I recall correctly, in the case of MS), but an expired debt is not extinguished, just legally unenforceable. The problem with that is the need to defend on the unenforceability. (Note that this should not be confused with the 7-year limit on credit reporting by CRAs…)

I find it incredibly obviously stacking the deck to require a defendant to appear in court just to say that the debt is expired, and so cannot be enforced! That is something that constituents can write to their state legislators about changing, and so I wrote a sample letter a few years ago, which should still be reasonably useful, I hope.


Some states now allow the fact that a debt is expired to be stated in ‘The Reply’ to the summons, btw, so that the case can be dismissed, due to clogged courts, but even in those jurisdictions, people have to know to do this, and most folks don’t know, which is addressed in Phase I’s Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure section of Project Do Better:

“The Honorable Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
California House of Representatives
1350 Front Street
Suite 6022
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: 619-338-8090
Fax: 619-338-8099

your name
address,
city, state zip
email
your phone

Dear Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher,

I would like to request a bill which would benefit California residents. The state of Maryland has recently passed a law prohibiting lawsuits on any debts which have passed the Statute of Limitation (https://www.dllr.state.md.us/finance/advisories/advisory-debtcol.pdf ). While California requires notification if a debt is expired, many debtors are not able to use that information. And while debt buyers are prohibited from suing on expired debts in California, original creditors are not. Many creditors, like exploitative landlords and lenders, never sell their debts, waiting years to sue, until details of the situation are less clear. Most lawsuits are won by default, even on invalid debts. The key injustice is that proportionately more poor debtors are sued than well-off debtors (due to the fact that the Statute of Limitation must be explicitly raised as a defense by the debtor in CA). Hence, growing numbers of illegitimate judgments against those who do not have either the time or the ability (due to illness, etc) to defend themselves. Debt, credit reporting, and court action can have a direct bearing on citizens’ abilities to access employment and housing. Disallowing suits on all expired debts could help correct this injustice.

Respectfully,
sig “

Shira

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B5, HakanMuhafiz/The ProtectorSihirli Annem, Lupin, or La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic College Algebra & GED/High School Lesson Plans,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction Writing

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira


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Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure: Is Your Debt Time-barred?

   This basic post is meant to be useful for anyone wishing to give a 5-minute seminar at the Metro/Trolley/Bus stop.
Please share widely.
Now that we know what a Statute of Limitations
is,  statutes-of-limitations and how to get the  information  on your debt, if it is Valid, you have the information that a legal expert needs to figure out if your debt is still enforceable in your state (or DC).
You should also look at your credit report, since debts are often listed by type there, as well.
1.  revolving  or open, is credit card;
2.  written contract is an apartment lease, for example;
3.  verbal contract;
4.  promissory notes.
        Again, many web sites list the various SoLs by state, but be sure to compare the SoL in your state with the online legal code of your state, and be sure that it is up to date (ask a law student if you are not sure, at a free legal clinic).
    Now that you have all of the dates from your last payment, check your state law to see how soon after that the SoL for that type of debt kicks in, and count the years.  If it is too old, then the debt is not enforceable, but you need to tell them that.  In writing.  There is a lot of advice online about this, but you probably want to get a Pro-Bono lawyer or law school student to help you, just to be sure.
   Remember to always respond to a letter about debt, after checking with a legal person.
Don’t wait  until_debt_tear_us_apart_28unsplash29
      More on getting our state legislators to change this situation in a couple of weeks.

Shira

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Click here to read, if you like:

Shira

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Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure: What is Validating a Debt?

    Here is another very basic post, meant to be useful for anyone wishing to give a 5-minute seminar at the Metro/Trolley/Bus stop.  Please feel free to print, handout, repost, and share widely.
statutes-of-limitations
   Last week, we defined the phrase Statute of Limitations for four types of debt.
    We mentioned that a crucial point to remember is that in most states, the clock can restart on an old debt if you promise to pay, or make even a token payment on an old or expired debt, which is why it is very important to be careful in dealing with debt collectors of any type, even if the debt has  been validated.
   Validated?
     Validating a debt is the process of sending you certain required information that proves you to be the person owing a certain debt.
    Federal law requires certain information, so be careful to get all of the details:  this site, for instance (unless I missed it in the fine print), neglects to mention the ‘tear-off’ that collectors must send you, right?
      Details matter.
     So, if you know someone being called by debt collectors, let that person know that they should ask, preferably in writing,  that the collector Validate the Alleged Debt.  Lots of sample debt validation letters are available online.
   Please share widely, and we’d love links here to some great sample letters you find or write!
      Using this information now, if your debt is valid, you can get help finding out if it is Time-barred, yet.  printable_yearly_2020_calendar
      More, after that, on how to help change this by mailing your state legislators in another week or so.

Shira

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Click here to read, if you like:

Shira

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Public Financial Knowledge Infrastructure: What is an SoL?

    Since no one seems to be jumping up and down to get this part of the Project started, I am beginning with a very basic post, meant to be useful for anyone wishing to give a 5-minute seminar at the Metro/Trolley/Bus stop.
   SoL  ==  Statute of Limitations
   Statutes of Limitations are time limits on the enforcement of laws, basically.  The kinds of SoLs that Project Do Better focuses on, in Phase I, are those related to debt.  Every state has a different set of SoLs for each of the 4 kinds of debts:
  1.   revolving  or open, is credit card;
  2.   written contract;
  3.   verbal contract;
  4.   promissory notes
        Many web sites list the various SoLs by state, but be sure to compare the SoL in your state with the online legal code of your state.
  statutes-of-limitations
    Another crucial point to remember is that in most states, the clock can restart on an old debt if you promise to pay, or make even a token payment on an old or expired debt.  That is why it is very important to be careful in dealing with debt collectors of any type, even if the debt has  been validated.
  until_debt_tear_us_apart_28unsplash29
 And
a week or so after that…
  printable_yearly_2020_calendar
  And then, you can determine whether that debt, if valid, is time-barred.

Shira

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Shira

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French Empathy Fridays, Connâitre ses Droits et éviter les Proces… Know Your Rights & Avoid Trial…

How can empathy help avoid trial?  By helping to make sure that everyone knows the basics of the legal system, their rights, and local facts about Pre-Trial Interventions/Diversions, for starters.

The common good, or the general welfare, is also tied up with Lupin (!), and with on-going legal & financial pro-bono education (aka Adulting Education), which must become more fully inclusive for all of us.

Click here for English…

“ -C’est quoi ça?
-Votre côte sur le marché de l’art: 11.000 euros”

Mais si Driss n’avait-t-il pas d’argent ? Et s’ils lui avaient arrêtaient dans la misère ? Aux États-Unis il y à une moyen d’éviter les procès mais qui coute cher, selon l’état dans on aura le procès. C’est mon espoir qu’on peut avoir des changements de cette politique, avec l’aide des citoyens Américains, et aussi ce de nos amis.

“ -What’s this?
-That’s what you’re worth on the art market: 11,000 Euros.”

But what about before Driss had that money? What if he’d been arrested utterly poor?

In many states, programs exist to help first time offenders avoid trial and charges. But, Pre-trial Diversion or Intervention programs, as they are known, are often unfair to the poor, as in MD and many other states: perpetrating the cruelty of charging money that some people simply do not have in order to avoid jail. My emphatic immediate-term policy recommendation is that all States emulate “Cook County … in Chicago, where defendants are not charged a fee ” for Pre-Trial service programs. And my long-term policy recommendation is that we strengthen our freely available legal services and Pro-Bono Legal Aide availability drastically, perhaps requiring ALL lawyers and law firms to offer 20% of their time or services free to lower income people, and that states and counties offer free continuing education in financial and consumer education, including the all too rarely taught rights in each state regarding debt, housing, health care and also criminal law. Both short-term and long-term approaches are needed, immediately.

Toward “…justice for all.”

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest
11 April, 12018 HE (Holocene/Human Era)

So, it turns out that knowing what bits of legal information change from state to state is also important, as is knowing that one must actively defend against an expired medical or other type of debt, even if it is time-barred (or past the SoL), illogical as that may seem…

Action Items:

1.) Share two different sources giving the different Statutes of Limitations (SoL) for your state, or District,

2.) Share your thoughts on how changing those SoLs might help, or hinder,  allowing people to climb out of debt,

3.) Write a book, story, blog post or tweet that uses that information and your thoughts. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector,  Lupin, or La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Nonfiction, or Historical Fiction

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Parashat B’har / פָּרָשַׁת בְּהַר, & Years of Rest and Return

     This week’s Torah portion,  Behar,  is the 32nd (32/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, it’s 54…) reading in the annual cycle, and the 9th parashah, second to last in the book of Vayikra/Leviticus.  Normally it is doubled up with the coming week’s parashah, Bechukotai, but this year being a leap year, it is read separately.

   This portion (Leviticus 25:1-26:2) has the Shmitah year, which is the resting of the land every seven years, and the Year of Jubilee, which is the seventh Shmitah year (ok, actually, Shmeni is eighth, which is pretty neat, considering that it is the year after the 7th, aka the 8th, when the shmitah year takes place…).

   I am convinced that both the release of servants every 7 years, and the release of debts with return of land to original families, every 50, were an integral part of preventing inequality from piling up, as it has now, here in the USA.   This idea motivated my original acre/person idea in Project Do Better, even if that idea has been mostly removed from the Do Better manifesto, sadly.

         What do you think our world would look like if we followed the release of debts every 50 years? 

     I look forward to hearing your opinions on this matter, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.

-Shira   

 

     Last week was: Parashat Emor / פָּרָשַׁת אֱמוֹר, What Authority Stands For ,

Action Prompts:

    Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in and create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please.   Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better

What would yours be, if you had time?

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The Protector, Lupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic High School Lessons,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

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Continue reading Parashat B’har / פָּרָשַׁת בְּהַר, & Years of Rest and Return

Debt Remission for Justice in Repairing Black History?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As a descendant of slaves, I look at various ways to handle inter-generational wealth, or the lack thereof, and I wonder how to adjust our need for Truth, Reconciliation and restitution to take into account the realities of the various levels of access to resources that different groups of people had (or didn’t have). Racism had its effects, and debt-build up did too, for all poor people.

The ability to build up wealth and pass that on to one’s children requires a fair judicial system that allows one to both build and keep wealth, and then to keep that wealth within a family group safely. Unlike, say, Tulsa, OK in 1921, or many other cases of murder for Black wealth. In studying the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 15, I noticed that the Bible also has much to say about helping people build and keep their wealth.

First, a fair judicial system is a must.

Second, debts cannot be allowed to build up too far for too long.


An interesting repetition in Devarim 15:8 -openly open your hand to him.


Why the redundancy? There are two sides to giving a loan:


1. Short term financial help
2. long term community responsibility to
         a. help the person make a sustainable living
         b. create equitable structures that prevent neediness.


Loan forgiveness and lending are short term solutions.


Structural equity is the long term solution

1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time and withdraw that time later, it gives along term
incentive for each person to contribute to the community and have that time valued and
recognized by the community.

4. over time this strengthens individuals and communities.


Thus lending is short term, while long term structural fairness is also needed.


(from 2012…)
Shira Destinie Jones, Mphil, DC “Community Cooperation” Singing Tour Guide

So, it turns out that

1.) debt forgiveness is an old idea, and

2.) a fair judicial system is related to debt, both short and long-term, and both need to be considered together as part of an inter-related justice system.  Today, the criminal justice system adds to the debt of many people who were incarcerated rather than educated, and even more people, White and Black, suffer from lack of learning via default judgements on Expired Debts (debts past their Statutes of Limitations, or SoL), and medical or health-care related debt (another reason that Europe has higher upward mobility than the USA).

More on my continuing striving with justice, both judicial and economic, next time:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Item   in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

 Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, connecting what you can see of the history of debt to that racism.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Freedom Fridays on the New Year, and a talk handout on debt remission for justice?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As the descendant of slaves who are often presumed to have had less difficulty than others, due to our light complexion, I look at various ways to handle inter-generational wealth, or the lack thereof, and I wonder how to adjust our need for Truth, Reconciliation and restitution to take into account the realities of the various levels of access to resources that different groups of people had (or didn’t have). Racism had its effects, and debt-build up did too, for all poor people.

The ability to build up wealth and pass that on to one’s children requires a fair judicial system that allows one to both build and keep wealth, and then to keep that wealth within a family group safely. Unlike, say, Tulsa, OK in 1921, or many other cases of murder for Black wealth. In studying the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 15, I noticed that the Bible also has much to say about helping people build and keep their wealth.

First, a fair judicial system is a must.

Second, debts cannot be allowed to build up too far for too long.

From a class I taught in DC, in 2012.  (pdf DCBM20AugustReehClass here…)

Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 20 August 2012, Parashat Shoftim
Community is built pillar by pillar, and one of those pillars, as we see this week in this
week´s Parashah, Parashat Shoftim, is having a judiciary system which is fair and
impartial, handing down rules which are applied equally under law, yet expansive enough
to make exemptions when necessary (for instance, in the 6th aliyah, where newlyweds,
conscientious objectors and other young men are excused from going to war).
1
4
2
3
▪ Na’aseh ve Nishmah: {Laws = formal rules; Minhagim = informal
norms} Shoftim
▪ Rewards and consequences of unity and cooperation vs. separation from
the community: {holding the mountain over our heads} Shavuot
▪ Consensus based buy in from all of the people: {Every Jewish Neshamah
was there}
▪ Intergenerational endurance: {“Na’aseh ve Nishmah”} Parashat Re´eh
Some sources of each of the four pillars where discussed in last year´s Shavuot class,
notes for which are available upon request. We will focus today on the 4th pillar, from
Parashat Re´eh, that of Intergenerational endurance.
One major prerequisite for building lasting community is solving the problem of
short-term insolvency, and also preventing long-term building up of, as the Etz Haim
commentary on this parashah puts it, “a permanent underclass” of impoverished members
of the community. The Biblical mechanism for this is a regular Remission of Debt,
which is commanded Dvarim ch. 15.
Every seven years loans are forgiven
Loans, we learned earlier in Bahar, Lev. 25, must be made interest free to fellow Jews
An interesting repetition in Devarim 15:8 -openly open your hand to him
Why the redundancy? There are two sides to giving a loan
1. Short term financial help
2. long term community responsibility to
a. help the person make a sustainable living
b. create equitable structures that prevent neediness
Loan forgiveness and lending are short term solutions
Structural equity is the long term solution
Time Banking is one example of part of that long term solution
1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time adn withdraw that time later, it gives along term
incentive for each person to contribute to the community and have that time valued and
recognized by the community.
4. over time this strengthens individuals and communities
Thus lending is short term, while Time Banks is part of Teachng a man to fish and
feeding him for a lifetime.
Community and the building of community solidly at the center of Jewish practice.
Chodesh Tov L´Elul, and Gamar Chatima Tovah, posted Teach !   ShiraDest, 8 March, 12016 HE,
Shira Destinie Jones, Mphil, DC “Community Cooperation” Singing Tour Guide

So, it turns out that 1.) debt forgiveness is an old idea, and 2.) a fair judicial system is related to debt, both short and long-term, and all three need to be considered together as part of an inter-related justice system.  Today, the criminal justice system adds to the debt of many people who were incarcerated rather than educated, and even more people, White and Black, suffer from lack of learning via default judgements on Expired Debts (debts past their Statutes of Limitations, or SoL), and medical or health-care related debt (another reason that Europe has higher upward mobility than the USA).

More on my continuing striving with justice, both judicial and economic, next time:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “Justice” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

2021 CE, which is 12021 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Thoughtful Thursdays, emotional and financial self-defense, and Phase II: Adulthood

Adults are expected to be able to take care of themselves, and to accept responsibilities that we associate with adulthood.  One of these responsibilities is voting, which is meant to give each citizen a voice on decision-making for the common good.  Another such responsibility is paying one’s bills, avoiding scams, and honoring contracts, including the payment of debts contracted legally.  The problem is that many people reach the age of adult citizenship without knowing all of the implications of agreeing to various types of contracts.  Often they are manipulated into contracting debts which they then do not know how to manage, and become entangled in legal maneuvers that they are unprepared to deal with effectively. 

The notion of the common good, or the general welfare, is based on the supposition of equality of power between citizens, and the ability of each person to keep himself safe, emotionally, and fiscally.   The common good also implies some level of empathy between and for all citizens, and therefore might benefit, in a more fully inclusive society, from a new secular adulthood Democratic Rite of Passage which allows each person to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and attention: that required to keep herself and those she may encounter safe on multiple levels.  Meaning, as discussed near the end of this post, should also, in my humble opinion, be included, somewhere, in that concept of safety.

Following are some thoughts I had on this issue a while ago, which I am still refining:

  • Elaborating on where Phase II (The Adulthood Challenge and a new CCC…) began:

What we need our children to prove, for recognition of adulthood, is not their prowess in battle or the hunt, not their virility, not their adeptness at social maneuvering, but their ability to contribute meaningfully to society by teaching another person, from level 0, how to do something that is both difficult and absolutely necessary in our society today. By requiring our pre-adults to teach some other person a needed life skill, over the course of at least a year, that pre-adult shows persistence, perseverance, discernment, and of course, the skill in question.

Thus we provide an esteem building exercise and respect building accomplishment which we then reward with full adult status, whatever the age of the pre-adult in question. This obviously assumes that the person has had opportunity to prove his or her good judgement in other ways as well, prior to seeking adulthood recognition. This might help as one step of a series of steps implemented by and through local communities which could lead to more long-term thinking in society at large, given a critical mass and good faith in the ability of humankind to rise above our instincts, and learn to cooperate.  Certain pre-requisites should apply: knowledge of emotional, financial and physical self-defense.

Tying into emotional challenges like PTSD, pre-adults must learn how to communicate non-violently, manage their own emotions and prevent emotional manipulation, which eases the recognition and treatment of difficult past traumatic disorders.   Homelessness and debt both relate to issues of financial self-defense,  which means the ability not only to balance a check book and write up a home budget, but also to avoid falling victim to scams of all sorts, as well as the ability to plan for long-range problems like job-loss, or illness, etc.

Now, I would add that swimming, or knowing how to float, and possibly also finding water, if one lives in or near a desert, are part of physical self-defense. 

  More than ever, I continue to believe that we need a new rite of passage in which every person wishing to be recognized as an Adult (in a society where only Adults are granted certain responsibilities, such as governmental service),  must teach someone, from start to finish, a usable, important, and difficult skill. It must be a skill which the person has to use in the real world, such as moving from the alphabet to reading chapter books, or from learning the counting numbers through multiplication, or from writing a sentence to writing an essay, or from no English to conversational or passable workplace English in the United States.

   A useful side effect of this idea is that it could effectively increase the number of available tutors, and also lead to every Adult in our society coming away with an understanding of the challenges involved in teaching anyone anything non-trivial.

  This needs to be a challenge, with the danger of failing: an initiation.  As such, it must  require a serious investment of time (preferably meeting for several hours each day) for at least one year. That way the young person can look back with pride on a serious accomplishment and justifiably claim his or her status as an Adult. Along the way, several problems in our modern society can be solved at the same time :

1.) The increasing lack of self-discipline, civility and respect for learning among the young.

2.)  The shortage of teachers combined with the budgetary shortfalls in most states would be somewhat mitigated by adding the numbers of teenage students needing to finish their “Adulthood Project” to the number of classroom aides and volunteers.

3.)  The need for challenges and self-testing during the adolescent stage of life which is left unfulfilled by modern society´s unsatisfyingly arbitrary definition of adulthood.

I would propose that implementing such an idea should begin with involving the local community by having the adolescent (or if still in his/her 20´s, the “pre-adult”) bring a person to meet with the community to show the starting point of the teaching process. After the learning objective has been attained, the pre-adult and the learner would return to meet again with the community to assess the effectiveness of teaching and to award the pre-adult his or her status as an Adult, with the full rights and responsibilities expected of an adult, including such cultural norms as civility, courtesy, and even graciousness.

     In this way we may move from a society where rudeness is the norm to one in which graciousness is valued. For example, a friend tells of an incident where a lady´s dog snarled at her, and the lady apologized, which was the civil thing to do, and then even offered to call a cab for her, which was the gracious thing to do. A society in which graciousness is valued will be both a more compassionate society and a more creative one. I leave these thoughts for contemplation, debate, and action.

To break down some possible prerequisites to require before attempting to start the Challenge, here are some things that every member of society ought to know:

I have six criteria for being an adult. Each prospective adult must be able to:

1. swim, (or inland: find potable water)
2. defend him or herself both emotionally and physically,
3. think critically and build logical arguments,
4. understand statistics,
5. drive and make emergency repairs to manual (stick-shift) cars, or know how to ride and care for bicycles or horses, or otherwise show ability to navigate safely.

These all imply the most important criterion:

6. accepting responsibility to think independently,
taking responsibility for one’s actions and for preventing exploitation.

Personally, I have spent a good deal of time studying each of
the above items, and also reflecting on my own principles. I
believe this reflection to be part of both #3 and #6, as each
Adult must know the basis of his or her life principles, if he or
she is to live a fulfilling and stable life.

This implies that every Adult must have not only considered what gives life meaning, as
Dr. Viktor Frankl described, but must also have pondered those principles upon which that meaning is base,  and must have therefore decided what gives life meaning.  I think that this process is crucial.

Thus, I believe that the final test for being recognized as an
adult should be to teach someone else a necessary life skill.

For example, swimming, or writing.

The ideas of both financial/emotional self-defense, and of meaning, as part of Adulthood, are things that I do not see being addressed in our general society as part of basic education.  For a variety of reasons, both the different types of self-defense (financial, emotional, and physical), as well as the concept of meaning in life, or something greater than oneself that ties back to one’s own link to society and one’s role in that society, need to be addressed as part of becoming an Adult.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the 4 types of debt, and statutes of limitations for each debt type, in your state.

2.) Share your thoughts on connections between debt and emotional manipulation.

3.) Share your thoughts on how understanding emotional and financial self-defense might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, and once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

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Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, Lupin, or $ Heist

Holistic High School Lessons,

 
 

Shira

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