Different Choices Have Different Results

Courtney one son who chose not to go to college. There is an undertone of resentment. Dave thinks different choices have different results, and this is part of the lesson.

QUESTION: Courtney in Houston has three sons, and one chose not to go to college. He does have a job as a mechanic and is about to become a manager. Courtney says there is an undertone of resentment because he chose not to go to college while his brothers did. Are they doing enough to help him? Dave thinks different choices have different results, and this is part of the lesson.

ANSWER: We’re not going to fund stupid any more than we’d fund stupid at college. He made different choices, and different choices have different results. That is a valid stand. There’s nothing illogical about that. If you spent $50,000 on each of the other kids and you spent $10,000 or $15,000 on him, which is my guess in what you’ve described, then if you wanted to say, “Okay, when you get past your stupid phase and you get ready to do something else, we’re going to do something for you. It’s going to be something where we’re endorsing smart like if you save up to buy a house. We’ll help you with that or something. Or you decide later to get some further education of some kind. We’re still here.” You could just sit down and talk to him about it. That’s laying there, but no, you don’t owe him anything and no, you won’t be sending him money just so he can get a big screen because his brother went to college and he didn’t.

He’s wired differently. That’s all. That’s not a bad thing. I think you need to clear the air. Lots of communication, you know? That gets rid of the bitterness. Bitterness is stuff that happens under the skin. This is on top because we lanced the wound. Everything comes out. We cleanse it. It might be a little painful one night over coffee—just the three of you. Then you just lay it out and say, “This is our deal. As a matter of fact, we’re going to write it down. At some point in the future, when you do something along these types of categories—a house, some further education, or something like that—if we’re able to at that point, we will participate with you. We do not feel guilty because you made different choices. Those were your choices.” These were his choices. That enters into the equation big time. It affected the money that flowed toward him.

We’re going to have good choices going forward. When we find something that is a really exciting choice that you can assist him with, we’re going to look at that at that time if it’s something you can afford at that point in time. You’re not on the hook but always open to talk about this further. It’s not a big-screen TV, and it’s not him investing in diamonds. It’s not that he decided that gold is a good thing to play or he bought a new program on how to invest in the stock market. That’s not what we’re doing. Use some examples of what stupid looks like and what consumer spending looks like. That’s not what we’re talking about here. An investment that is invested into something in particular—yeah. When he finds that thing, you’ll look at it at that point. I think I would if he was my kid. I’m not going to feel guilty by this vague sense of lack of equality. I don’t feel guilty about lack of equality all around my life because I make choices and other people make choices. Choices give you your results.

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