Perceived Risk @petrena9

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Perceived Risk @petrena9

The way individuals develop their point of views on risk is a very interesting phenomenon. Our perspectives allows us to draw invisible lines and construe different possibilities from the same circumstances. It is finally spring; we have cursed the bitter cold into exile, yearned for that moment where the weather is our best friend and rays of sunshine stimulate our happy center. We talk about how nice it is outside. Oh yes! You can always drum up a conversation with just about anyone in Toronto about the weather, especially when everyone has been anticipating all the joys of spring. “April’s showers bring May’s flowers,” is a jingle I hear a lot in the spring transition. It’s known and established that the rain preludes this beloved season that leads us to summer. Let the joys of spring begin.

On a rainy spring day, I took the time to notice the “Booted and Suited” strolling comfortably: Hunter boots and water proof coat, the routine stop for a tall blonde coffee before getting to the office, recording the same amount of steps on the Fitbit in the same scheduled time.

“The Skipper” hops from her Uber, dressed in the season’s latest trend: floral dress with a designer trench coat and Tory Burch ballets, the Kate spade umbrella beautifully designed and well equipped to protect her freshly curled hair. Her posture, as she gets to her destination, is screaming, “What rain?”, as she blissfully ignores the rain drops making their way to creating mini puddles in her never-full bag, as it swings open on her arm, open to the elements.
Then, we have the “Melt down,” who just cannot have the rain today, runs to the dollar store, just to hear that the last umbrella was sold out, and utter despair sets in. The destination is a daunting 7.5 minute walk from exiting her street car—that much time in rain will reinstate her 4c curls, soak her suede shoes and plunder her confidence for her well-anticipated interview.

All three ladies have the weather displayed on their smart phones and have been through the cycle of Toronto’s weather patterns.

From my experience, our weather is unforgivable and unforgettable and will never change no matter how much we bicker (like that ex-boyfriend you can’t shake).

“Booted and Suited”

This prepared and confident woman comes from a home with a mom that did her own taxes, owns a label maker, had a routine checklist before leaving the house and insisted on her saving ten cents on every dollar she held in her hand. The piggy bank was nice and full at the end of every year because both parents matched what was saved, rewarding her effort from their blue collar salaries. With parents this meticulous, the college fund was in place. They took steps to raise a responsible adult for what is to come, as handing over a lifetime’s legacy into reckless hands would be futile and folly. As it relates to every other pattern in her life, being responsible and prepared is as second nature as breathing: always prepared for a rainy day, no pun intended.

“The Skipper”

She manipulates every situation and hopes to get lucky. Middle class home, only child, parents that migrated and worked all their lives to overcompensate for what they never had, they hope to live vicariously through their child. Providing that they worked as hard as they did to climb the socio economic ladder, that work ethic was not transferred, as everything was handed over to her as though it was picked from a forever-bearing tree. The result—a designer everything diva with no care in the world, because daddy will pay for it, the mindset that everything is going to be ok, because things have never hit rock bottom. Taking this attitude to deal with life can be blissful until life soaks in.

“The Melt Down”

Driven to be successful, she had to fight for everything in her life. Raised in a single parent home, abandoned by dad, her mother had to work three times as hard to just meet basic needs. Working hard is literally all she knows and dealing with the obstacles as they come by. How does life prepare a child for a parent walking out on them? Life is just not fair as she grows up fast, and never knowing anything but to struggle. She was taught to work hard and pay bills. Working hard without a strategic life/financial plan is like driving down a race track with blindfolds on; you just might make it around the track, but even with the probability of that happening safely, it would be based on some skill and memory of the path.

This girl knows what she wants and has the work ethic, but without proper education, she will be stuck in the struggle. She just learns to expect life to punch her in the gut, and she just takes it.
My perspective of socio-economics is defined by how our societal upbringing and cultural interactions affect our economic and social standings in this world. Our mindsets are different because of how our education and social upbringing shapes our views. If bad practices are ingrained in us, it will translate generationally, until education breaks that mold. Based on our perspective of risk, “Results May Vary.” Shaping our lives and our lives-to-come will require some preparedness; we should start with things we can control and mitigate the uncontrollable stuff. With every circumstance a positive Sound simple? Let’s do it!

Petrena Miller

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