Saturday, December 03, 2011


I hope to live in a country where a person can do a good day’s work and live comfortably on the wages earned for the effort. It’s a good hope to set your sights upon, a comforting hope, an easy hope to coddle. It’s a good hope to keep in a decorative box on your mantel, good right up to the moment when you open the box and take it out.
Like so many hopes of an ethereal nature, I’ve found that this one burns a bit when you hold it close and put its feet to the fire. In our house there lives a man who gets up every morning before I do, leaves for work before I do, and usually gets home after I do. For his efforts he is paid $11.00 an hour. Where will he live in the future?
“We’ll buy you a place to live,” I say, lifting the lid of the box where I keep my hope and peering inside. Facts are facts. We do not yet live in a country where a person making $11.00 an hour can save for a property purchase.
Free housing, you think. That ought to help make that $11.00 salary go a little further. But, when you really look at it, there’s no such thing as free housing. There are condo fees, and taxes. There’s the power bill, and the heating bill, and the phone bill, and the cable cost. You only have free housing when someone else pays all of that—not just this month, but next month, and next year, and maybe forever, if the hard day’s work you are able to do is not likely to earn you much more than $11.00 an hour.
In my world there are some seniors who live well. They have a comfortable home. They travel a bit. They can afford to hire some help when they need it. I hoep to be one of those. It’s a scary thought, the possibility of endangering this hope so that a person earning $11.00 can have a decent life. Isn’t that the government’s job? Or is it mine?

“If you wait for a better time… better than this very moment, if you wait until you feel settled, divinely inspired, perfectly centered, unburdened of your
usual worries, or free of your own skin, forget about it. You will be waiting tomorrow and the next day, wondering why you never managed to begin, wondering
how you did such an excellent job of disappointing yourself.” –Eric Maisel, Coaching The artist Within

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