Saturdays on the Home Front
Once again, I've let things move toward partisanism and flamewars. I've taken steps to keepm that from happening in the future. One is to keep focus on the local poverty scene. After all, I don't live in New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Hollywood. Thanks, avolo.
Meblogin makes some good points, and does so tastefully, without name-calling or labeling. He's right; in terms of raw contributions, rich people do pay a lot in the form of taxes and in-kind donations. But in my own defense, I was referring to the contributions and donations to charities and direct aid above and beyond the taxes (which are, after all, compulsory, and I think we'd all agree we wouldn't give the government a dime if we didn't have to). No, these things don't have to be given, but it's a bigger person that says: "Y'know, instead of buying that yacht, let's give some money to St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Salvation Army to give others a shot at what we have. Of course, those who are able to do both, hey, more power to 'em.
I had to log off fast from the library's computers last time, so fast that I didn't have time to come up with a title for the post. I've done so now.
And I actually have seen guys in convertible Jags; I just used one as an archetype while trying illustrate my points.
Speaking of guys in Jags, I did some thinking this morning while cleaning the kitchen* and my mind wasn't otherwise occupied. I recalled feeling a wave of resentment when I saw the guy in the Jag the other day. I asked myself why. Why did I feel resentment at the Jag driver? Had he harmed me or my family personally? No. Was I jealous? No. Was he a lawyer, and therefore worthy of my scorn**? Insufficient data. He could've just as easily been a doctor, an accountant or a university official. Was he driving recklessly, or otherwise endangering society? No.
Then why the heck was I so resentful? I asked myself, probably for the first real time in my life. After pondering it a bit, I realized that the reason I was so resentful was that this guy represented all the possibilities I had either missed, squandered or overlooked. He had what he wanted. I didn't. Not sufficient reason to resent someone I didn't even know, sure. But enough to make me think through the reason I resented him.
As a result, I realized I didn;t really resent the Jag guy at all; I resented myself for not being him, and resented myself for having a hardscrabble life. The first I can't do anything about, but the second? Well, there's still time (even though I'll be 44 in less than two weeks). I can still go to training, or luck into a job comperable to the one I had at Trone. Hell, who knows? I might even hit the Powerball.
A little later after rendering the kitchen floor sparkling clean*** I was folding laundry while watching Disney's The Proud Family on TV. I enjoy this show, although I don't often get to sit still and watch it. This time, however, I probably shouldn't have, as we shall see. The episode revolved around Penny's efforts to get elected school president. He opponent, Li'l Wiz, was the son of a huge NBA star turned town mayor, and therefore had his father's resources (including cash) to draw upon. Wizard (the father) jumped into the fray by releasing a commercial slamming Penny's dad. One of the lines in the commercial was "success breeds success; failure breeds...success for someone else."
God, how true, I thought to myself when I heard that line. But then it stuck. And it reminded me of all the failures I'd been through in my own life and how somebody else was probably capitalizing on them right now while I'm stuck here in...
Oh, crap! The Beast!
He had begun a psychic assault so subtle that I didn't know I was in it until he was almost done gleefully shredding every bit of my self-esteem. And I had grown complacent over the ensuing weeks of not having to fight him off. Rallying my thoughts, I quickly remembered where I was in relation to where I'd been just a couple short months ago while hitting him with some of the disco I'd been listening to recently. It was actually easier to fight him off this time, once I recognized what was going on, but I'd spiraled down into near-depression so fast I almost didn't recognize the danger in time.
Gotta watch that; time's too precious to waste fighting him off these days.
*We seem to do a lot of cleaning these days, even if most of our possessions are still in storage.
**I admit I don't like lawyers, but only because I've been at the business end of too many of them. But soft, there's enough angst there for a post unto itself.
***Try this for a general-purpose cleaner; I found the formula in a tenant handbook we were given, although there are probably plenty of ones like in around the web: 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, all in a gallon of warm water. This stuff cleans almost anything, and costs only pennies. Divide all the above amounts by four to use and store ina spray bottle.
I struggle every month to make ends meet. House payment, car payments, tuition payments as well as utilities and the like. I don't have my hand out to the governement or to my neighbor to make my life easier. I work harder every day to take care of it myself.