I Want My Children to Go Cold and Hungry

Capitalist Exploits's picture

By: Chris Tell at: http://capitalistexploits.at/

Maybe I'm peculiar, which is entirely possible, but I cherish the memories of adventures I had and times spent in awkward situations; the times spent pushing my own personal limits, times when I've often been very, very uncomfortable.

It's rare to remember a 5-star hotel no matter how nice it is, but I will always remember that night spent sleeping in a public bathroom when a storm blew our tent away and drenched our belongings.

I will not forget spending the night freezing my tail of in 12 inches of snow, in a tent, deep in the mountains of Eastern Europe after I'd train hopped and jumped off at the wrong location.

I vividly remember sleeping huddled to a backpack on an Indian train... huddled because if I let it go it would be stolen in the blink of an eye.

I'll always remember positioning myself in front of my wife when being held up by pirates on the Mekong. It doesn't matter where we've been, or where we're going but what we've learned that matters most. What we take away from our experiences and what we do with that.

We don't become educated by having it easy and we don't learn perseverance and dedication by sitting on the sofa.

There is a reason I cart my children to all sorts of countries and expose them to different cultures. There is a reason my wife and I home schooled our children for many years.

We expose our children to everything from drug addicts, to world business leaders, to prostitutes, orphans and everything in between. Always in a controlled environment, but ensuring that the world is in front of them, the good, the bad and the ugly.

A parent recently argued with me that I was damaging my kids by exposing them to poverty when taking them to a Burmese refugee village in Northern Thailand. This parent lets her kids watch gratuitous violence on television and play graphic video games, which make me want to vomit, and does it without a thought.

The television, iPad, Xbox,... these have replaced the real world as parenting "tools". Is it not better that we see the effects of violence together with the humanity in it, rather than on a screen where the connection is lost, completely misused and the message given a far more dangerous one? In my view you can't intelligently grapple with the world's complexities if you've little to no connection to them.

This sort of exposure provides an education not easily achieved elsewhere. Kids are not shy and will question everything. This is as it should be, and is an attribute sadly lost on many grown adults.

It has always been my policy to invite questions and answer them as honestly as possible. This is how we learn.

As a grown adult, a professional investor, entrepreneur and owner of multiple businesses, it's always been my job to ask questions. The more the better. There are no dumb or wrong questions. Kids know this, yet adults often forget it. Pride gets in the way. Fear of looking stupid, being thought ignorant.

Our brains need to be stress-tested regularly. A brain is a muscle and it atrophies just like any other muscle if left to vacuous use. Did you know that it takes just two weeks for a muscle to atrophy. Two weeks! Poof...flat like a car tire.

When you're pushing yourself to explore new ideas, new environments and new cultures you're much more likely to be uncomfortable. It is when we're uncomfortable that we are forced to exercise our brain. Ideas and skills bring wealth.

Wealth is not money. Only poor, ignorant people think wealth is money. I need my kids to be using their brains vigorously, to be generating ideas, to be problem solving consistently and to be collecting a body of knowledge to be tapped at every turn. I need my kids to be uncomfortable.

This was one reason I bought my son a second hand piece of furniture. It is why I'm not going to send my kids direct to University when they finish schooling. There is a difference between education and schooling.

I recall an instance some years ago when living in Phuket, Thailand. For a family outing we had ventured down to Patong beach to shop for an art piece. A large oil painting that now hangs on our wall. Now, Patong is littered with hookers and men too eager to be hooked. Unsurprisingly, drug use is common. If I had to sleep with some of the creatures that grace these places I'd probably take drugs, too!

Patong Lady Boys

Witnessing a particular tourist in the street, who was clearly stoned out of his mind, my daughter questioned me:

"Why has that guy got bleeding feet daddy?"

"Because he's stepping on broken glass honey and has no shoes on."

"I know, but he seems weird, he doesn't seem bothered by it and he's got a weird sort of smile on his face."

"Yes, honey he's on drugs and the drugs mess with his brain telling him not to worry about the glass."

"That's dumb Dad."

"Yes, it is."

You see you don't need to threaten kids with finger raised to stay away from drugs. I believe it's better to let them come to that conclusion all on their own, with a safe, steering hand. This is why I expose my kids to all manner of things many would consider crazy.

Kids are like onions, occasionally smelly, they actually don't snap and break like carrots all that easily and there are many layers to them. You can't appreciate how many layers there are unless you begin peeling. Sometimes when you peel the layers back you weep.

We recently spent a few days camping. No big deal. It rained and we could have packed up, hiked out to the car and driven home to a hot shower and warm bed. But what does that teach you?

Instead we targeted the "problem", coming up with ideas on how to solve the problem of not bringing enough warm gear and experiencing rain. Needless to say we had an awesome time. In the pouring rain, while we were cold and wet, missed sleep and could have easily given in, we had a very close bonding and memorable experience where many of our "problems" were tackled.

It is my dream for my children that they do something cool, possibly life-changing, and certainly inspiring, if only for themselves. That is where fulfillment comes.

Getting there, however, is never, ever a walk in the park. It will take perseverance, possibly ridicule, missing out on more “fun” things, it will take time, something we all wake up every morning with the same amount of. How we spend that time defines who we are. It cannot and should not be taken lightly.

I've had the incredible fortune of having built multiple businesses myself, made and lost money, made and occasionally lost friends, and always been educated by the experiences.

I've also been in the enviable position of being exposed to literally hundreds of businesses, many of them start-ups or small businesses. Watching and learning along with founders and management teams has been an invaluable education for me. I've watched founders grow, accomplish, become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams I've also watched founders blow up, destroy their relationships, burn out and collapse in a smoking wreck on the footpath.

It is one reason that we invest in people before we invest in businesses. What I've come to know, and most of us know this internally, is that it's truly rare to achieve something valuable without going hungry, sweating, and working hard at it.

How do you build that resiliency in a growing child? How do you show them the way the world really works? How do you do all this without breaking them, all the while installing a sense of passion, awe for our incredible world, a sense of limitless opportunities and a desire and belief that they can and indeed should build a life and world which is better for having them in it?

This is why I want my children to go cold and hungry. Is this going to make them more resilient, more entrepreneurial, more appreciative or just more grounded? I don't know. Ask me in 10-20 years.

- Chris


"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." - Tom Bodett

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Spungo's picture

They could demand gold for oil just to fuck with Europe. Demanding rubles would make the most sense. 

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

A question can get you killed.

sondernauch's picture

If your parents think you aren't worth a shit, there is a huge chance that you will turn out to be not worth a shit. A tiny few are motivated to "show them," but most are just crushed by it.

evernewecon's picture




The message of "To Sir With Love" is 

kids are powerful reasoners, and will respond

shown respect.  Khalil Gibran: they're 

our equals.


Biomed: they're better learning machines,

particularly efficient machines as to 

language of course, all the better for

the above.


Given the opportunity and demonstrated interest

by adults . they respond like

learning machines.


Here's health and wellness for themselves 

and their families simultaneously with 

budding entymologists.  



As to experiencing adversity instead of

selling to degrees of undemocratic control and market

control purchased from that, organizations

that assist the homeless often stage what are

called "sleepless" nights (sleep with the homeless.)



It's plain the people they're helping

today are sensing a new desire for 

cooperation and sense of world sharing

among a large part of the community

(at least where I am,) all the more why

it's dismaying reading about some have come

to really believe that the person who controls

policy to his own advantage is per se a nice

person whereas the person who has not lived in

a policy environment such as this:







is a bad person.


The person who made the right decisions only

to face the policy of hand it over should 

today be more appreciative of mutual dependence

on mutual appreciation of birthright, which, of 

course, is also the Trayvon issue.




TrulyStupid's picture

You're really fighting an uphill battle here...trouble is the consumerist ideaology is bludgeoning the minds of us all, and our generation has been coopted by what we see as our own self interest which leads us to participate in unethical and untruethful marketing and brainwashing.

The morality play of the Thai hooker story could easily been reversed if you took off your own blinkers. You may have pointed out the presence of the "johns" and reflected on their emotional and ethical poverty as it met their consumerist urges. The hookers are only working for the best money they can make.


SubjectivObject's picture

I don't konw what the Chris guy is getting on about, but he seems completlely normal to me. <sarcoffmofos>  Maybe he's not the statistical norm for parenting, but the contemporary norm for child upbringing is degenerated from recent generations of ignorance and sloth on the part of herd mentality parents. 

Jumbotron's picture

Unfortunately, my kids have all gone cold and hungry.  After the Crash of 2008, I lost everything.  I was not in the market.  I was not flipping houses.  Just collateral damage.

We all ended up in a pop-up camper in the woods for 8 months.  Before that we were in a one room bungalow behind this guy's house for a year.

When we were in the camper....we experienced low temps in the teens during winter.....and in the summer as high as 95.  One night a thunderstorm came through which nearly blew the camper over when a micro-burst hit.  Trees and limbs snapping off all around us......me outside pushing on the camper trying to keep it from flipping.  (I know, insane....but I WAS insane at that moment with fear).  Nobody woke up, they were so exhausted from the heat of the day.  I cleared a path until sunrise so they could get out of the camper and trudge over to my father-in-law's place to take a shower the next morning.

Thank God....we're out from that now.  But as each of my children have become older.....old enough to start understanding a bit of the world....I remind them of where they were at.....and how the Powers That Be....the Elite....even with good intentions can and are paving the road to Hell.  And I try to teach them how to prepare the best they can to deal with that kind of future.

The first place is ......free your mind.  Don't believe anything a government official tells you.  Be wary of ALL authority, including mine and their mother's.  We are often wrong....even though we mean well.  Be respectful at all times.....but never fear asking questions.....including the best one of all.  Why?

Love your neighbors as yourself.  But understand in the end...you are all alone.  God is with you.....but you live amongst the worst of his creations.  It's not God's fault.  Man is always culpable because Man chose this condition due to free will.

But you, my children, also have free will.  So in that freedom....choose wisely.  Choose to be better than me and mom.  Choose to be better than the world.  Choose freedom.....and reject bondage......including and most importantly....the chains of your own making.

And always know that I am always sorry....and sorrowful that I ever brought you into this world.  But I can't even imagine how I could get by without you all in it.  I love you very....very.....much.  Please forgive me.

OldPhart's picture

That was moving.  Been through tough some tough times myself.  No one realizes what is done to protect them when it's done quietly.

dizzyfingers's picture

"A brain is a muscle and it atrophies just like any other muscle if left to vacuous use."

Correction: Brain matter is NOT muscle tissue!!


F22's picture

metaphor:  noun--a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.

OldPhart's picture

You can't actually educate morons.  They stare at you and then throw shit at the rest of the class.

hardcleareye's picture

lol...  The Neuro Circuits of the brain are very plastic, so in essence if you don't use the path way often the brain is not as efficient at accessing it, there is usually more than one pathway to that "bit of information".... 


messymerry's picture

Thanks Chris, excellent reminder that being disconnected from reality is debilitating.  I would only like to add that no matter how hard we try to keep it at bay, reality always, always, comes rushing back in.  This is an immutable part of what it means to be human. 

Based on this article, I think you are doing a GREAT job with your kids,,,


Joenobody12's picture

 Always in a controlled environment, but ensuring that the world is in front of them, the good, the bad and the ugly. "

You want the kids to see something bad and ugly take them to Wall Street or DC.

Joenobody12's picture

"  We don't become educated by having it easy and we don't learn perseverance and dedication by sitting on the sofa.  "

I am going to get a pin cushion to put on the sofa. That should cut down on the kids TV time.

Obamanism's picture

Great Article.

It should be a part of the education system , not common core , that our children should spend at least 6 months outside the USA. 3 months in a non-english speaking country. 1 month per education year.

This will give them a perspective of the world and confidence to be outside their comfort zones and improvise in strange situations.

I also spent a night in Toilet when in Denmark. I arrived in the Evening, by train, to get the fast Boat to Sweden Gothenburg, to find the company had removed that sailing due to being at the end of the summer season and low volume. So I had to wait till the morning and get the slow boat.

uncle_vito's picture

Sounds like a helicopter parent, obsessed with his kids.  You need to get back to your businesses and leave your kids time to be alone with themselves.   They are likely sick of you.

hardcleareye's picture

Vito it is a little early to be drinking......lol


Retired Electronic Engineer. Interested in current events, stock market, and drinking.

Believe the US economy is doomed.

Roger Knights's picture

Robert Heinlein said (although I haven't been able to find it by Googling) approximately, "Once in a lifetime everyone should have to run for his life." He had  the same lesson-learned in mind as the author of this thread.

OldPhart's picture

Back in '75 they were beginning to 'modernize' Thousand Oaks, Ca.  My uncle was building a private preschool there and he called in his brothers to help, I went along, age 13 or so, so my city cousin could introduce me to city life and city girls.

About an hour later I was all alone and decided to go help at the preschool...about five miles away.  So I ran along the freeway being built and crossed under some half built overpass to get to the otherside where the preschool was.

This preschool was being built in an old barn that is listed as 'one of the most haunted places in America' back in the 80's.  (I'm in the 70's)  Creepy shit was happening while we were rennovating the place...dad once asked, from around the wall, for some nails.  As I was gathering up nails I heard him say, 'Thanks, Dave. (he uses my middle name, always has)' One night we were laying tile in the boys bathroom.  No power hooked up, no plumbing hooked up, working by coleman lanterns.  This place had great big double doors at all four sides.  (It used to be a fucking barn!)

So we're laying tile and all of a sudden all eight doors swing open, one side against the wind, slam into the walls, then slam shut.  The fart fan starts spinning, *wheeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEeeee*, the urinals all flush, the lights came on, then went off, then all eight doors slammed shut, and as we all looked at each other the urinals went *galook!* and the fart fan whined down.  We all looked at each other and my uncles and dad accused each other of hooking up the plumbing and power, and all denied it.

Anyway, I get to the preschool and they've apparently left.  No one's there, and I'm walking through the soon to be completed playground on the south side of the building headed to the west, when this lady dressed all in white, like a bridal gown, steps through the fuckin' door on the west side.  The door was closed.

I lit out down the dirt road along the hill until I got to a gate with chains holding it closed.  I pulled and had just enough room to squeeze my skinny, nerdy, ass through and I ran another twenty or so paces until something in my mind said 'STOP!'. I stopped.

Then it said 'Look around', I looked around.  And froze halfway into shitting my pants.

There were a good twenty or so lions looking at me in bewilderment. A couple stood up while they were staring.

All I could think of was 'don't run, don't run, don't run'.  To my mind I took mincing baby steps, but I crossed that twenty acre field in less than three seconds and set a world's record for leaping over a twelve foot fence.

Once safely on my ass, with relatively welcome cactus thorns, goathead stickers and finding I was carrressing nettles....I read the banner across the street facing fence.  Welcome to the "Cole Brothers Circus Winter Retreat".

True story.

Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

huge problem we're facing is the pussification of america. there's no adversity anymore. everyone wins, everything is great, play more with your iSoma and relax. kids in the US have the easiest lives in the world, video games, cheetos, and of course workload at school is a goddamn joke. this of course has resulted in us having the most useless adults in the world. most can barely take care of themselves, which is exactly how the statists like it.

zipit's picture

"Always in a controlled environment"

messystateofaffairs's picture

He meant for children, the parents presence is the "controlled environment". Of course you could remove all risks and hang out in front of  the teevee munching fat free chips and acquire an "education" that way; it's safer in the long run, helps America evolve to the great nation it is becoming.

Magooo's picture

i ask again -- do these look like creatures from the lagoon?   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2Hdzrn5MAY



Magooo's picture

First off the beach in Phuket is Patong - not Patpong.

Second of all you are going to tell me you'd walk away from something like this?



You are either lying or there is something wrong with you.

detached.amusement's picture

what part about wife & kids did you miss?


or are you just letting us know that you are completely beholden to your flesh...

SunRise's picture

So Magoo,  When did God step down and let you reign? - You must be a politician, thinking that everyone who doesn't value particular things exactly like you is wrong.

Lord Koos's picture

Hey, why stop at cold and hungry -- send your kids into an African war zone, they'll really learn some stuff.

pachanguero's picture

I live in Thailand and love it.  And I've done the same for my kids.  I hope I'm right.......but it's gotta beat bullshitting them.

OldPhart's picture

Had already written a epic about how I got out of being 'Po!' to where I am now before realizing it was off the real topic.

My Dad was career Air Force, Mom was basically a stay-at-home, except she would go off to take nursing classes as she could.  A class here, a class there, as we moved evey couple of years due to the military.

As a kid in the 60's, (born '59) I didn't have any idea about wealth envy, nor did I have much desire for anything else but playing, building models and reading.  At 6 we were sent to Colorado and the military put us up in a one room motel.  There was myself, two younger sisters and our parents.  At the time (knowing now) our parents were desperately trying to find affordable housing before the limited number of days at the motel ran out.  But run out, it did.

Dad and I went to morale, recreation and activity at Buckley and he got a tent and five paper sleeping bags.  Then we went to Cherry Creek Park and set up camp.  I don't recall how long we were there, but it had to be from mid-spring to fall.  And fall was an abrupt winter.  Daytime went from 70 degress to 30 in a matter of days.  Nighttime went from 50's to h-h-h-holy s-s-s-s-shit!  We could get food at the commissary but didn't have anywhere to store it other than a couple of ice chests.  So we were on c-rations from WWII (which actually weren't that bad) and what limited stuff there was in the ice chest. 

Dad says now, looking back on it, the homeless thing aside (to me we weren't homeless we were camping), what broke his heart was the evening he came from work and we were all sitting in a mass, covered in the couple of blankets that we had, freezing our little asses off.  He left and came back with a white gas heater for the tent.  As I recall they finally found a house about a week later.

While my sisters have a whole different take on the episode, I think it taught me not to stress over stupid little things and to take a longer view on tough situations.  I learned that it's not fun to frolic in the snow if you don't have somewhere nice and warm to dry off in.  (learned to hate snow pretty quick.)

Now, 50 years later, my house is currently in no danger of being lost, I've never refinanced, never pulled equity on stupid shit, I have no credit cards, my car payment is due in July, mortage balance is amortized to 2018, and tomorrow I'll be making another month and a half mortgage payment.  I have my stash of weapons, ammo, more food than my wife and can eat in the next six months, stored water, and about fifteen pounds of silver (primarily silver mint proofs).

I don't think it affected me very much at all.

optimator's picture

If you can't show them, at least tell them.  Tell them you Father's, or Grandfather's stories of the depression.  No welfare, make it on your own.  Need shoes and you had a whole piles of used ones to pick from -free.  Friends helped in every way they could.  Tell them what a few years in the Pacific during the Big One were like.  Tell them what its like to see your money devalued to nothing.  Tell what a few years in a POW camp is like, in detail.  Tell them what an orphan in Europe in 1906 went through, and tell those family stories in as much detail as you know.  And to finish, tell them they could be in that same position in a short time.

Shad_ow's picture

Tell them society didn't learn from history and allowed evil men and women to repeat the same criminal actions.  Ask them to remember so they can tell their children and hope they learn from our mistakes.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Hopefully your kids will experience watching WS banksters jumping out the windows of large buildings.

oddjob's picture

If they refuse to participate in the economy of fraud that pervails now they might just have a chance of witnessing such an event.

novictim's picture

I agree!

1) We need MOAR poverty.  You don't work you die.  Kids, this means you.  

2) Hungry?  That's what dumpsters are for.  Get in there, you little tots.

3) Cold?  Rain falling on your head?  One word:  Card Board.  And kids!  Cover your head with a plastic bag.  Duh!  Plastic bags keep the lice off too.  

4) But most important!  Get a job, kids!  Children, your little fingers are the industrial tools America needs most!  All work is honorable.  Remember that.  Even when you are on your knees, work builds character. When the Republican convention comes to your area, strut your stuff...there are plenty of libertarian Republicans who want to support your right to work...hard, hard, hard sweaty jobs on hands and knees will raise America's Libertarian members in pride!  


I can't say enough good things about poverty and Americans and their children bending over and pulling at their boot straps.  A bite block and a little elbow grease or vaseline never hurt anyone.

papa_lazarou's picture

This is great news--the way things are going, I figure my kids are going to go cold and hungry, anyway. I'm never going to be able to afford private school, nor university for that matter. Good to know I'm apparently on the right track.

Shad_ow's picture

It is getting tougher.  We were able to afford private school and university for both of ours early in the last decade.  It would be impossible now that government has killed business and the hope of a return to growth. 

I wish you well and pray for all young families in America.

SafelyGraze's picture

papa -

you had me at "This is great news"

one small suggestion -- exclamation points!!!!
and Capitalization!!!
e.g., This is Great News!!!!

something is wrong with the Underlined in my Text-Editor box!!!! but Boldface is Work!!!

maybe to use more of _Underscores_ and _Italics_!!!!!

This is _GREAT_ _NEWS_!!!!!

Andy Lewis's picture

He wrote Phuket, heh heh, heh heh.

KnightTakesKing's picture

Over that graveyard unmarked by a wall,
where even the mariner founders,
while the rains of your death fall,
you come flying.

While the rain of your fingertips falls,
while the rain of your bones falls,
and your laughter and marrow fall down,
you come flying.

pablo neruda

Big Corked Boots's picture
A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
- Steven Crane
SafelyGraze's picture

Pablo Neruda

Alberto Rojas Giménez viene volando


self-driving goog-car xlation:


we are all nerudans now


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"It is one reason that we invest in people before we invest in businesses. What I've come to know, and most of us know this internally, is that it's truly rare to achieve something valuable without going hungry, sweating, and working hard at it."

All I learn from my successes is how brilliant I am. Thankfully my brilliance doesn't last long and soon enough some humble pie is served up. Then the real learning begins.

Mrs. Cog gets angry with me on occasion, telling me I don't need to always seek out the pain. I explain each time that the only thing I learn from pleasure is that I want more pleasure. Pain on the other hand is the true teacher.

I don't enjoy the pain at all. But I do wish to continue to learn. So pain it is on the way to another valuable life lesson.

Harbanger's picture

Timeless/fearless souls rejoice in their suffering because they know where it leads.

economics9698's picture

When you grow up in poverty you rarely assimilate.  Society discriminates amazingly well against people who grew up in poverty.  Hard to hide it, mannerisms, speech, body language, all giveaways and signals that someone is an outsider.

Been there.  Be careful what you do with those kids.  Amy Carter got an up close personal real life education.  It did not turn out so well for her.  Poverty and hardship are overrated, poverty sucks.  Hardship sucks.  Did both as a kid.  Would never want that for my kids.

What kids need and want is a valued place where they are loved and when older a real chance to pursue what they want.  

sessinpo's picture

  economics9698   When you grow up in poverty you rarely assimilate. Society discriminates amazingly well against people who grew up in poverty. Hard to hide it, mannerisms, speech, body language, all giveaways and signals that someone is an outsider.


Groups discriminate against other groups. Those that are poor blame the wealthy. The wealthy, likewise, looks down on the poor. The difference is the wealthy have the power in most cases. A rich guy in the ghetto has mannerisms that show he is an outsider to the ghetto, just like a person from the ghetto has mannerisms that show that they are an outsider in the wealthy neighborhood.

The current crop of poverty have assimulated. That is the point of the leftist putting so many on welfare. To make them comfortably numb and control their votes (and therefore, control them).

Shad_ow's picture

Love comes first but so do life lessons.

Loving kids includes teaching them responsibility and appreciation.  One does not have to be poor to learn those lessons if parents instill the principles by expecting children to work and be responsible for their grades and behavior.  Love includes dicipline with consequences for mistakes in order to discourage a pattern of failure. 

Harbanger's picture

You're reflecting on your personal experience of a different time and place.  Kids today spend a lot of money to look grungy.  What children need are tools for life taught by loving parents.  Caring is meaningless if it's empty rhetoric, money cannot replace this.  Nothing of importance is learned without personal hardship, our biggest life lesson is the destruction of the selfishness we are all born with as children.  Therein lies most of the problem with our adulation addicted immature culture.