Test your assumptions …

 

Do you believe that single mothers on welfare are irresponsible deadbeats who set a bad example for their children because they are too lazy to get out and earn a living?

 

If so, you just wrote off Joanne Rowling, better known as the creator of Harry Potter. Coming through the death of her mother, domestic abuse, divorce and abject poverty, Jo rose from being on social assistance to become a multimillionaire in less than five years. She’s now a generous philanthropist and one of the most influential women in Britain, with TIME magazine naming her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.

During the dark years following her mother’s death and the need to file a restraining order against her first husband, Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression, and contemplated suicide. Her illness inspired the idea of Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third Harry Potter book. Applying for welfare benefits she described her economic status as being “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.”

If you believed the assumption I shared at the top of this page, then you also would have written off another of the women that inspired me. Barbara Sher, also divorced, penniless and supporting two children, had to turn to welfare assistance to survive. She went on to write “Wishcraft” ( a book that changed many lives, including my own), now in it’s 30th year of publication. Barbara became another “rags to riches” story. You can draw on her inspiration free of charge, as she placed the book online.

 

[NEXT … The Cycle of Poverty]