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WHEN A PLEDGE WAS A PLEDGE

By Bob Bridge, Columnist



Every time you borrow money, you borrow from your future self.”

—Nathan Morris



cancel student debt


Readiness is everything.


Ergo, young people enrolled in college, intent on investing in a fruitful future.


They borrowed money to buy an education, fully expecting to be rewarded handsomely. A cornucopia of treasures await. Off to campus, a fun-filled foray equivalent to a breakaway layup in a game of hoops.


Perhaps that perception of reality is a bit blurry.


I took another route — pay as you go. None of this borrow for tomorrow.


My three most prominent jobs while in Bloomington were packaging books for IU Press, driving a taxi, and delivering newspapers in the wee hours of the morning.


My family believes debt is a temptation best avoided. It’s as dangerous as a live grenade, capable of blowing up your world.


While at IU, I observed some of my fellow students party hearty and soar skyward, high enough to dent low-flying planes. Oh, the trips they took.


My expeditions were less exciting. I figured it was silly to adopt champagne lifestyles when you’re paying from a beer wallet.


I endured, earned a diploma. Some of my classmates did as well. Others did not.

Journalism, my chosen path, was not particularly profitable. I knew that going in.


Writing was my solitary talent, and I harbored a passion for attending sporting events.


I enjoyed my vocation. The people I encountered during my 40 years on the job made it fulfilling.


Last week, while watching a “news” program, I learned Joe Biden was considering forgiving student loans.


Is Joe forgiving them? Or are we, the inflation-saddled citizenry, paying the bill?


Apparently, some students count themselves among the pathetically forlorn. They’re buried beneath debt. It’s like treading water in the middle of the ocean, jogging into a ruthless wind.


They claim forging forward is improbable, if not impossible.


Ever driven a cab late at night? Delivered papers before dawn?

Just wondering.


How inane is this forgiveness concept? Certainly sufficient to induce brain freeze.


Bells began to ring in my steeple.


How loud were they? Imagine wind chimes in a hurricane.


I am not a champion of ethical gymnastics. Loans must be repaid.


A pledge is a pledge. A promise is sacrosanct.


In college, math was a burr beneath my saddle. Yet, I never had a problem calculating what I owe.


The college experience left a few tire marks on my backside. Stress was my albatross. Penny-pinching was my perpetual pursuit.


Am I angry? Callous to the needs of others?


Seldom.


But, if you didn’t like the rules, why did you play the game?


Why did you risk the investment?


Yes, risk-taking is inherent in life. If you trek through this world expecting guarantees, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.


I’m anxious to see how this new “counter culture” evolves. Progressives think this “forgiveness” can transpire through an executive order.


Recently, while watching a college football game on TV, I saw a player with a single word etched across the back of his jersey: EQUALITY.


Really?


The more I know, the less I understand.


Food for thought, huh?



Columnist Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or bbbbbridge@gmail.com.

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