The Inner City’s Ugly Truth

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In my travels around the country, speaking primarily to high school students about the Rich Habits and Poor Habits, I’ve noticed a trend.

Typically, eight students out of an average class of forty took me up on my offer for the free books I gave out after every talk. Those eight students seemed genuinely interested in learning about my research in order to improve their lives.

The remaining thirty-two students could care less about improving their lives through my research.

In both cases, parents were the reason why. Good parents and bad parents, more specifically.

Good parents are good mentors. They teach their children good habits. They inspire and motivate their children to achieve. And society benefits.

Bad parents are bad mentors. They teach their children bad habits. Their bad parenting serves to discourage and dull the God-given inner light that resides in every child.

Bad parents come in many flavors.

  • There are parents too strung out on drugs to be parents.
  • There are parents who are unable to parent because they spend most of their time in jail or prison.
  • There are parents who are just evil and cruel to their children.
  • There are parents who are simply irresponsible and negligent.
  • There are parents with bad habits, who just don’t know any better.

When both parents fail to do their job of raising self-reliant, responsible, law-abiding children – children society needs in order for society to function properly – their children become society’s problem. Society is left to clean up the mess of bad parents.

We see bad parenting at work in the inner-cities, where poverty runs rampant. No one is brave enough or honest enough to acknowledge the real cause of this inner-city poverty – bad parenting.

But that is, in fact, an ugly truth I uncovered in my five-year study of 128 poor people. In that study, at the heart of almost every poor person’s story, was bad parenting.

And, I learned from the 177 self-made millionaires in the same study, that the cure for bad parenting was to grow your way out of it through formal education, self-education and by finding success mentors in life.

Just ask Dr. Ben Carson. He was raised in the ghettos of Detroit. His father abandoned him, his mom and his brother Curtis, when Carson was just eight years old. But thanks to a his amazing mom, Carson and his brother were forced by their mom to read every day. This eventually became a daily habit that followed both into their adult years.

Carson went on to become a top neurosurgeon. His brother, Curtis, also excelled in life as an aeronautical engineer.

Success is not an accident. It’s a process. And parents are a big part of that process.

Poverty is not an accident. It’s a process. And parents are also a big part of that process.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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