Financial Challenge of the Modern World

Image of the 2020 1FCA Financial Champions Scholarship Winner

Chadina Maragh
West Los Angeles Community College

October 10, 2023 Financial Champion

In the modern world, one of the most daunting financial challenges one can face is the decision to invest in a career solely based on passion. This dilemma strikes a particularly resonant chord for individuals like me, who grew up with an unyielding love for the arts but faced improbable odds of securing financial aid. When confronted with the question of my future by my single mother of three, who tirelessly worked two jobs while pursuing her nursing degree, the notion of indulging in an education purely for the love of it seemed implausible. “Do you want to become a lawyer or a doctor?” she asked, to which I timidly countered, “Could I be something else?”

In the prevailing narrative, modern world problems are seemingly solved by degrees that promise financial security. The notion of pursuing passion or reveling in the sheer joy of learning is often marginalized. The prevailing wisdom dictates that educational investments must guarantee the means to afford the family car and the picturesque three-story suburban abode. What, then, is the weight of a $200,000 debt when the sound of “Doctor Maragh” brings a radiance to my mother’s eyes, as if all her sacrifices have been justified? She hadn’t journeyed to this country just to subsist, but to stand tall with pride in her role as the mother of three accomplished children.

Dreams, passion, and vibrant hues find no sanctuary in financial planning when so much seems to hang in the balance. The solution, it would seem, lies in discovering a career that not only provides value to the world but also demands a sacrifice of time alone.

For those fortunate enough to navigate the treacherous waters of this financial quandary and find a career that marries passion with societal value, they emerge as the chosen few. My mother, who transplanted her life to America at the tender age of thirteen, nurtured a lifelong dream of becoming a track star. Yet, the discouraging chorus that proclaimed it an impractical career choice loomed large. It wasn’t a path that promised to pay the bills. Later, as she raised three children, she gravitated towards a career that resonated deeply with her innate desire to aid others. It was a profession that not only added tangible value to the world but also held a degree of financial viability that made it a sound investment.

This narrative underscores the importance of reframing our understanding of success and reevaluating the metrics by which we measure it. It is about striking a delicate equilibrium between the pragmatic and the soul-stirring. Sometimes, this entails charting unconventional paths or ingeniously intertwining diverse interests. It serves as a poignant reminder that success should not be solely predicated on financial stability or societal prestige, but on the fulfillment derived from one’s work, its impact on others, and the enduring legacy it leaves behind.

In the end, the story of my mother’s tenacity and the choices she made embodies the unwavering spirit of individuals who navigate the labyrinth of financial constraints in pursuit of a life that is both rewarding and meaningful. It serves as a beacon of hope for those of us who dare to believe that a convergence of passion and prosperity is not an unattainable dream, but a tangible reality within our grasp.