Saturday, May 27, 2017

Working "for a living"

The term "people who work for a living" has been on my mind. You see, right there, in those last three words, "for a living" is the problem for many folks! I'm totally convinced that most adults – and many youth - either work or want to work.

But working "for a living" is not simply a matter of desire. It is not the sole responsibility of the worker to make enough money to pay for housing and food.

Let me put that another way. Most workers cannot set their own wages or salaries! That might be so obvious that you might even laugh. But do you see the correlation there? We – society, social media - sometimes blame people that they don't "work for a living", even though many do work, but many employees aren't given the opportunity to make an actual living. 

And most employees today can't simply work two jobs or work overtime, even if they have the health and enthusiasm to do so. It's amazing to me how many full time jobs require that their employees refrain from moonlighting, expect them to not pick up another job during their time off.  And this is often true even though they are not making adequate money to support a family or, sometimes, not enough even to support one person.

Then there are the many part-time jobs which never offer full time work for most of their employees, yet require full-time availability. May I respectfully repeat that one, for those who aren't aware of it? Many part-time jobs (retail is an example, but not the only example)...many part-time jobs require full time availability even while offering only part time work.

"We need you to come in for this meeting tomorrow." Or: "We need you to fill in (during a time that you don't normally work) for this person who called out (or who quit)." Oh, but when you do, then, next week you may get fewer hours, because we can't have you getting paid for more than "x" number of hours in a pay period. Often, it's tough for the "bosses" too. I'm not blaming them for this! The problem is much greater than their position, and I'm not even sure I understand the ultimate problems and solutions. I'm just saying it's the way things are today, and while I think changes need to be made, that's not my topic this morning. 

This isn't a rant about employers, but rather, it's about pulling together! ...instead of (verbally) beating each other up! (whether individually or in the things we say and pass on in social media). It's about encouraging people, in an empathetic way, and truly listening to them, instead of implying (whether intentionally or not) that we've got it all together and the other guy doesn't. 

It's scarier this way, though, isn't it?...especially if we do have it all together ourselves, at least economically, at this time in our lives. If I admit that maybe my brother's troubles might not be his own fault, then I'm admitting to myself that troubles might come my way, too. 

You see, it's true. Troubles might come our way! When they do, are we going to beat ourselves up or are we going to comfort and encourage ourselves? And do we want others to truly listen to us and try to understand? 

Or, maybe those troubles already have come for you, and for that, I am truly sorry. And I know most people do have some kind of trouble or another. 

We don't have to go it alone! Not, that is, if we accept one another and try to acknowledge the world as it is, and not only as we would like it to be. 

I believe we are all stronger, the more we pull together. Do you think so too? 

Love and blessings to you all
Margaret Mary