Self Reflective Essay

The 2008 Housing Crisis was a traumatic event and hurt so many people. Many borrowers previously would have difficulty getting mortgages, which both contributed to and was facilitated by rapidly rising home prices. Many featured variable rates helped people buy homes they didn’t have the income to afford.​​ This financial crisis offered cheap credit and low lending standards. This fueled the housing bubble and eventual housing crisis. This event can relate back to “The Big Short “The pivotal characters involved are the “higher-ups” in corporations and sneaky CEOs on Wall Street. There were consequences and many effects on people in the financial lower classes. Many banks manipulated and took advantage of these groups of people without discussing the long-term effects of their actions. “…How do you make poor people feel wealthy when their wages are stagnant? You give them cheap loans.” (Lewis, page 14). This quote shows how the banks were giving mortgage loans to the people who could not afford them. They afford low introductory rates and minimal or no down payment. Banks would do this just to cash in big money and become rich. The lower-class people involved in this crisis lost everything. This was a destruction of a whole group of people when they were given free mortgages which they could not afford to repay. These banks were left holding trillions of dollars of worthless investments in subprime mortgages. This costs many people their jobs, their savings, and their homes. The Big Short tells about the housing boom that caused banks to give out even more mortgages. 

They even gave them to people who had no jobs, no income, and no assistance. The lenders were not verifying that the people borrowing the money to buy the house could afford to pay it back. Wall Street investment institutions were borrowing heavily to invest in them. This causes them to inflate their value. The lenders offered adjustable mortgage rates that started out very low. People thought they might be able to afford these mortgage rates. Then as the housing market got saturated with too many homes for sale the real estate prices of homes dropped dramatically. In The Turner House, the real-life consequences and damage that Wall Street did are apparent through the unpayable loans and mortgages. For example, on page 77 it reads, “The banks are being extra predatory right now. I saw it on the news. They know people can’t pay their mortgages, they knew it when they gave them the loans or let them refinance, but they refuse to renegotiate.” The banks did not care for the lower-class people whatsoever. All they wanted was money and this was a great way to take advantage of someone who wasn’t able to do anything about it. “Basically, because you know how these banks are, running through your whole family tree trying to get their money…” (Flournoy page 66). The quote shows how in real life the banks would go through family ties in some cases to get the money they wanted. Some people even resorted to gambling to try and pay off the ridiculous loans and mortgages. Lelah is a prime example of this; even though her gambling was not necessarily related to paying off the family home mortgage, she still suffered the same consequences as a chronic gambler. 

The Parable of the Sower is a symbolic example of a whole society in trouble. It is science fiction but seems to be coming true today. It is a story of a post-apocalyptic society that has been adversely affected by climate change. Lauren, a girl of color, is the main character. The story begins in Los Angeles, California. Society is different. To live and be safe from the “bad” people, Lauren and her family live in a walled community. She lives with a minister’s father, whom she really respects, a stepmother, and three brothers. Her father is deeply respected in their community. Living in this walled “safe” but closed off to the world community, they seem to be free of arsonists, rapists, thieves, and killers. They knew they were better off than the people living outside their community. Eventually, her community is attacked and set on fire. The pyro people had set it on fire. Her family is dead. She is now on her own and must leave. As she grew up she was taught to read and write. Her father had the family practice survival skills every day. They learned how to use a weapon, grow food and protect themselves in their tiny space in the world. She kept a journal called Earthseed. She read many books about seeds and planting. She knew this was a way to survive. A seed is a hope, it takes time to grow but can produce and survive. When she left her burning community she gathered the survival pack she had stored away and the cash she had hidden for such a day. She asked two friends to join her and head North. Choices now are important. Lauren was at a crisis point. She thought about her philosophy of life, her Earthseed. She had a plan and it was a healthy choice. She knew God’s word and would not allow herself to be distracted. She knew she had the option to be the “right kind of seed” and build and grow a new, strong, self-sustainable community. She had the ability to convince others to join her group. Each one offered something to help them survive. People can change themselves. People can learn and grow. In a world where there are few choices, Lauren had the vision to cope with the disaster and change. She made it to the north with people she trusted and could work with. They slowly developed a new community. Plant a seed and let it grow. Time was what they needed ad they had to survive until their crops start to grow.

In the Big Short and the Parable of the Sower, we see society in trouble. In the Big Short, the lenders and borrowers made the wrong choices. The low-income people took a seed (their home) and tried to make it their home but their foundation was poor and the hope of the home was a failure. The banks planted their seeds among the poor with little hope of success. The people accepted the “seed” mortgage with no foundation to pay it back. In the Parable of the Sower Lauren, the main character has the vision that she follows her dreams and plants her seeds by picking the right people who can contribute to the community by planting them in rich soil. People have options in their life so if you have a foundation, education, and understanding of people you have the ability to find success. If we plan the seed in good soil it will take time to grow. The banks planted their seeds among the poor with little hope of success. The people accepted the “seed” mortgage with no foundation to pay it back.

Geneseo students are in a solid college to succeed and find success. Freshman year good seeds are planted. I see these students finishing their four years successfully. They have learned how to overcome adversity and deal with changes. I believe this is what makes a person successful, not being afraid to fail is super important. Working hard will lead you to the path of success and greatness. I personally have dealt with many new changes and hardships throughout my first semester here at Geneseo. I never gave up and kept pushing through tough times. The start of the semester wasn’t the way I wanted it to be but in the end, I grew as a person and student. I am now an overall stronger person and I believe I will continue to find success and grow throughout life. 

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