I had an interesting weekend. Long story short, hubby and I ended up on a staycation versus our trip to NY we had planned for 5 days. We decided we’d take the time anyway since the kids already being cared for and it would be good to spend the few days decompressing. Today is the last day of that vacation and tomorrow it will be back to it for both of us.

We decided we would stay in the city (we live in the country) and would ride public transit as much as possible, and walk for the most part, to where we wanted to go. Well, I think I must be living under a rock. And sometimes I am, when in the world of Internet Marketing and Self Employment.

I saw in 4 days what looked to be 2 extremes of people. Those struggling and those not. I also noticed how unhappy people looked as they walked around town. While I do my best to be a non-judgmental person it’s hard notice things when you’re people watching.  Mind you, I do all right, have some nice things in life but you’ll also find I’m a jeans and sweatshirt kind of girl and I drive a minivan. I am as low maintenance as they come for the most part. (Yes, I do have my eyes on a BMW).

I digress, anyway – as I was looking around and observing (and listening not by choice) to people it occurred to me that we need to wake up more of our sleeping society. There are so many people in need of help that actually may need hope and encouragement more than anything. A mentor. I watched teen moms struggling with children getting on the bus, themselves overweight. Homeless wandering in the heat, many overweight people who looked tired and unhappy. People just seeming to go along to get along with struggle and strife. They just looked deflated.

If some of these people I saw had an extra $50 or $100 a day, I know their lives would be changed. Everything from better food to their living environment.

The challenge is in getting them to believe that they can have more and better. Low self-esteem, depression and anxiety are so prevalent right now in society.

I don’t walk around with rose colored glasses but I have a strong belief in myself and my abilities to create for myself and to teach others to create for themselves, if they believe they can. But wow. I can only touch so many at a time. How do we do this?

Is it really that bad in this economy?

Is there a way to give people the hope and encouragement they need even if they’ve “given up”?

How do we reach the everyday person? The single teen mom? The average family that may have lost a job and are now in poverty?

I truly believe in the strength of personal development. I think this needs to be taught more to our children and young people. As adults a strong sense of self is important, as is good character and integrity. How do we learn this if we are not taught? Hmmm.

I’m worried about our people.  I have been worried for a while about the obesity crisis in this country and now I think I’m more worried about the economic crisis. This post strayed from my normal upbeat posts. I felt I needed to get off my chest what I saw this weekend and how it profoundly affected me. Maybe I was ready for it or needed it. Now I just wonder what comes next.

Things that make you go hmmmmm…….

Have a great week my friends and remember to smile at someone you pass on the street. It may be just what you both need.



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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 18 comments
marquita herald - July 25, 2011

Where were you walking … sounds really sad. You know that old story that goes something like give a guy a fish and you feed him for one meal, teach him to fish and, well you know. I’ve chaired 3 county food drives and served on the board of directors of more non-profits than I can count, and I have come to the conclusion that the only way to make lasting change is to teach the guy to fish. The problem is, not everyone wants to learn …

Louise Steiner - July 25, 2011

I lived in London for many years and whenever I go back I am always saddened to see how miserable everyone looks. And that was pre financial crisis. The financial crisis has exacerbated the problem….As you say, an extra $100 a day would make the world of difference to many. The question is how to reach these people?

Dr. Bob Clarke - July 25, 2011

Hey VaNessa,
I work in NYC and I often take the opportunity at lunch to people watch. And you’re right — I would say that 80% of the people I see in the city just look beaten by life. You can see it in their eyes.

It makes you wonder how they got that way.

It also makes you wonder what is to become of them.

I don’t know the answer to the questions in your post. Education early in life in personal development and success might help, but sometimes I think that people simply get beaten down by life’s experiences.

I think it’s all how we handle these tough times… we’ve all been through them (some obviously worse than others) but how you react to these tough times will many times predict your future.

Thanks for the thought provoking post!

Emma - July 26, 2011

Hi Vanessa,

I also live in the countryside and am always a little taken aback when I get back in to the ‘real’ world.

I totally agree that personal development should be taught to young people, I always thought it should be a part of the national curriculum!

I think that this is such a massive problem that it needs tackling from a long way up. In the mean time… all we can do is be the best influence we can.

Hmmmm, you know the Jehovah’s witnesses go around spreading the word… perhaps we need some flyers made up?!

All the best,

Emma 🙂

Jaden Daniels @7 Minute Workout - July 26, 2011

Before I moved to coast of SC, I lived in a that didn’t have a stop light. My wife and I owned a convenience store and basically that was it there. We know how mindset of those people were.
Some depressed, some thought they were owed, some thought if they cheat the system they would be great.
I have seen people get disability checks, cheating the Government, just to get sick and need those checks, or even die.
My wife and I started posting positive quotes in our store every week. It was amazing something so small help so many.


Ben - July 26, 2011

Hi Vanessa.
One of the greatest culprits in our society (In my opinion) is TV.
I want to bet that all the people that seemed so sad and depressed are chronic TV addicts.
Not only does the TV rob you of the time you need to better yourself and your life, but did you know that the average state of mind while watching TV is mild depression?
Sorry, got slightly of topic there, but I believe that if we were to start living our lives and not just sit around and dream, ALL of us can make that extra $100 and have great lives

Steve Dooley - July 26, 2011

Hey Vanessa, First of all I think your post opened up our eyes to the state of the majority of folks out there today…..desolate. I feel blessed and honored to have the opportunity to network and build relationships with great people. They are out there we just need to find them – thanks for the internet…..That leads me to my next point. You asked “how can we reach more people?” I think you’re on the right track with your blog and using the internet to get your message out there…..Great eye opening post.

Kyle Quinlan@ After High School - July 26, 2011

You’re right, It is sad to notice all of the people out there who aren’t willing to help themselves. We can’t help everyone, but there are more than enough people who are looking for help. We need to stay focused on these people rather than feeling sorry for people who choose not to help themselves.
Also, the more people that we can reach out to and help, the more people there will be turning around and helping someone else. This means that with each new person who has been helped, there will be a different story to be told that might resonate with someone who never could find the help they needed. I think if we just focus on helping people with our stories, we can eventually turn the number of “happy” people in our favor. Just my point of view, I like to keep it positive =)

Joyce Penner - July 27, 2011

It is sad isn’t it. We, as network marketers, have a huge job to do and it’s not going to take a miracle. Help one person, then another, then another and teach them to help someone and another and another and watch the ripple effect start to happen.

We can do it. We are going to do it. One at a time.

Willena Flewelling - July 27, 2011

I am one of those people adding to the obesity statistics. It was such a relief to learn a few years ago that it is not so simple as calories in, calories out. There are so many factors involved. But I suspect a huge one for most teenage moms would be carb addiction, hidden food allergies and systemic yeast problems, which would be aggravated by alcohol consumption.

My own health improves dramatically when I eliminate wheat, dairy and sugar… and the weight just melts away when i do.

Willena Flewelling

Dr. Erica Goodsotne - July 28, 2011


I have seen that unhappy look in New York City, for sure. In Florida, where I currently live, I see more of the anger rather than that depression. People don’t walk around as much in the heat. They drive. But inside, at one particular supermarket, I have observed many unhappy, angry people. Many of these people are not lacking for basic money. So an extra $50 or $100 would not do it.
They are suffering from self-centeredness and false expectations about life.

I have also seen tremendous unhappiness with couples that come to see me for counseling. Again, it seems to boil down to expectations. Their partner and their current life does not measure up to their own inflated expectations. Their goal is to receive, not to give. They are okay as long as the partner gives what they expect, but when something changes, they cannot cope – and there is so much blame.

Education, support (emotional much more than financial), and helping people to overcome the negative childhood messages that taught them a sense of lack, deprivation or undue entitlement, I believe, is the answer.

It is not really about the economy and the need for more money, although that certainly affects people’s moods. But those who are resilient will find a way to make do with less and appreciate what they do have. Others will fold and succumb to self pity and a sense of hopelessness.

Thank you for sharing this insightful, though sad, post.


Pastor Sherry - July 28, 2011

Hi VaNessa,

Last year I had to wait in a major city’s train station for many hours. It was a real eye opener for me. I lost count of the number of people who came to me for food money. I don’t give money. But I shared some of the food I had with one person who was willing to eat it (an unopened energy bar). One pregnant woman asked for money to get to a woman’s shelter. I don’t give money. But I offered to go with her to the ticket counter, fully intending to buy her a ticket. She refused.

It’s hard for me to understand the mindset of making a living by panhandling. How did these people get into this situation? Did they run into hard times, losing everything overnight? Were they raised this way by parents who taught them? Are they sold out to someone else who’s forcing them to do this? The experience of seeing people begging in America was depressing. It was depressing overseas, as well, but somehow I think I had a different idea about America. I’ve only lived in one major city, and for a short time. Guess I’ve been protected.

But these people . . . they are God’s children. They have potential locked inside them, not just to make money, but to BE somebody special. To be loved, and valued, and to make a difference for others.

Ok, I’m rambling, and I’ll quit. But I’m with you — I’m saddened by all this.

Trevor Barrett - July 29, 2011

VaNessa, you are so right about most people in the big cities looking sad and unhappy however, unfortunately I do not think that giving them $50, $100, $50 a week or even $100 a week would make their lives any better.

There is a story that, if we divided all the wealth in the world equally between everyone, within 5 years the money would be back in the same hands as it started. I wish I knew why that was.

When I first started trying to attract people into my business I had the same thoughts as you. I can help these poor people get a better life. What I found was that they were content with what they had, the best people to approach are the busy ones, the ones going about looking happy. They will make better use of an opportunity.

VaNessa Duplessie - July 30, 2011

Thank you for all of the responses. As I’ve said time and again, I am a 99.9% positive person always looking for improvement and to help. I felt the heartfilled responses here as I shared my recent sad experience that I just had to get off my chest. I appreciate you all for doing what you can in the world to make it a better place. And I appreciate your insights from all over the country and the world as to what you’re seeing in your areas. We don’t need to dwell here – rather just be in awareness that there are many who want to be helped and we can lend a heart and a hand. And for those who are not ready, we can be patient until they are.

Janette Stoll - July 30, 2011

Hi Vanessa,

First time visiting your blog from TSA. Although I do worry about the state of the economy and how tough it is on many families too, I find comfort in the resiliency that we all have. I truly believe it takes a lot to tear people down. Maybe I’m being a bit of a pollyana here but whenever I hear people get negative, I listen, but leave them with something positive as encouragement such as focusing on the positive things and turn off the news if the economy worries you, is an example.

Really enjoyed your post!


Stevie Smith - August 5, 2011

Hello Vanessa,

It’s interesting that I just did a post that shares some of your concerns, although I do not talk about the problems of obesity.

Low self-esteem, depression and anxiety as you mention them are true obstacles in the lives of so many people. This is so prevalent that there are times when people who suffer from these issues simply cannot see the light of day. It’s a vicious circle and it’s not helped at all by what is going on in Washington.

Still… We must Keep Our Smiles,


Lynn Jones - August 5, 2011

Hi Vanessa, Sounds as if you had a very interesting and thought provoking weekend. It is truly sad how so many people have No ambition to do anything other than the life they are living. They don’t know any other way and aren’t aware that they could possibly change their life by changing their thoughts and attitudes. Even if you offered help to some, they don’t want it because of their welfare mentality. I am a firm believer though, that if we are meant to work with someone….it will happen.
I appreciated your deep thinking post,

Tony@Business Building - August 21, 2011

In my own opinion, if you are just hardworking and not picky when it comes to work then I guess you won’t starve or something. As we all know, we are now facing economy crisis, thus, we should have to strive hard and do something to make money or earn extra income for living.


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