As a 23 year old college grad, I've already been introduced to the painful world of debt and debt management. I try not to fry my brain over the thousands of dollars I owe and not retreat into a dark corner where I can cry myself to sleep. I also have a car payment, insurance, and one credit card all in attempts to build my credit and start my true adult life. Welcome, say the adults, take a gun and try not to have a reason to use it. I've always (luckily) had a very unconcerned view of money. My thought has always been "It's just money, I can make more of it. If I let it get to me, then it owns me." It's hard to keep such a mindset however when the collectors start calling which leads me to this story that I read in September that has recently been updated. I found the story on the incredibly satisfying (plug time!) Consumerist.com: Wife sues debt collector over husband's death This made me wonder about debt and responsibility. In the last decade, this country has been talking about nothing but debt and economic disaster so it's not an original story. Man has debt, man can't pay debt, debtor harasses man. Then of course is the rare and unfortunate final step, man dies. It is a sign of the times how the common consumer is suffering these days. Problem is, there's a lot of blame to go around. Some people blame us, the consumer, for being reckless and gullible by buying into excessive credit spending, a lack of savings and little to no future planning. Then there are people that blame the producers, the ones doing all the selling and sales. They claim their wages are too low, their prices too high and the accuse them of nasty behavior. So were do we begin? I do believe and have believed for a very long time that the human race is beginning to ignore the concept of liability. People don't like being held responsible for anything anymore. Gone are the days where men did their balls proud by owning up to their faults and working through failure. However we are emerging into a society that does not want failure. They are trying to cure and prevent it. Take Obama's bailout for instance. My knowledge of financial systems is slim as is my knowledge of economic systems but I'm keen enough to know that in a Capitalistic society, bailing out failed companies is the wrong way to go. Their business practices were flawed, they were bad for the consumer culture and thus should have been allowed to die. It would have taken time to rebuild and yes some jobs would be lost but then again anything worth doing takes time. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure the unemployment rate is about as reliable as Tiger Woods in a strip club. Then again, our society has always had problems with rational, necessary solutions, especially ones that take more than five minutes. Take the legal drinking age. If reduced, there would be alcohol problems for at least five to ten years but after that our culture would adapt to the change and eventually, we'd see a lot less underage drinking problems especially at the college levels. What can we learn from Stanley McLeod? Well, we can't let our debt get to us and we can't give in. We also learn that when going into debt, we are picking which murky swamp to step into. What is important when entering any swamp is just like entering any financial contract. You must tread lightly, carefully and with steady calculation or you disturb the crocodiles and snakes lying beneath and then you find yourself suffering and wounded in the middle of a hostile environment with almost zero chance of survival. Make like Bear Grylls and learn to survive the wild, because if you don't, your destined to drown in the muck.