Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gotta Be Thankful

     A recent quote I encountered on the web points out, "...There is no 'cause:' poverty is the default state.  We should be figuring out what causes prosperity," or words to that effect.

     It's got a visceral reality for me because I have been poor, "working poor" as they put it, which is a kind of prosperity in and of itself.  At one point, I was working two full-time jobs that paid barely above minimum wage: two different shifts, four eight-hour days, three 16-hour days, and no days off except for the occasional holiday.  I was able to keep my nice rented house on the outskirts of Broad Ripple and my nice (no it wasn't) Chevy Cavalier and so on.  You come to appreciate 24-hour supermarkets and extended-hours "doc-in-a-box" places when you work like that, but it's a delicately-balanced thing and when my Chevy got rear-ended about 1:00 a.m. one weekday (by an AAA-contractor's wrecker, no less), it unraveled.  A month later, I was down to one job and living in a 400-square-foot apartment, mostly on ramen noodles and hot dogs.  I did that for nearly a year, and then they laid everyone off from that job--

     Yeah, life's tough and at no point was I living in a cardboard box; I ended up in the spare room of my parents house, with all my things stacked up in their garage and did that for six months, working weekends at a radio station for gas money.

     My present job is what pulled me from what looked like a dead end.  This job has been better than it is now -- and it's been worse, too.  I'm thankful to have a job when so many people don't.  There are plenty of people who'd find instant noodles and a hot dog a huge upgrade from their regular diet. 


JayNola said...

And this is what Thanksgiving is about. This strikes me more viscerally than anything I've ever read about Thanksgiving before. Maybe it's first world problems and maybe it's because I've been there too but thank you Ms. Ecks.

rickn8or said...

What JayNola said.

Never been in quite that situation, but I've been there and looked over the edge.

Merle said...

After you hit rock bottom everything else is an improvement!


Paul said...

Amazing how many people have never been in that position. Luckily I have never had to live in a box. But I have back packed into the Yellowstone so I would think that is close. I would not want to live full time in a tent, or card board box for that matter.

I pray that God continues to provide for me. (I know you prefer to think you are one your own, but I don't)

Have a good weekend.

Matt said...

I'm thankful for having a job, not too thankful for some health problems. I guess on the whole it's a wash. I know I'm way ahead of a lot of people but 'could be worse' isn't exactly the Thanksgiving blessing I was hoping for.

Old NFO said...

And you've climbed back up. That is something many people don't understand. Never been rich, I never will be, but I live within my means, just as you do.

Roberta X said...

Paul, I work at not arguing over religious matters. For me, it's not so much a "preference" as a sneaking suspicion that Mark Twain might have been onto something. I hope he wasn't.

pigpen51 said...

Roberta, I am a Christian, and I have strong beliefs that many other Christians probably hate. Because I prefer to not condemn someone who chooses to follow their own path. Sure, I am always ready to give what I believe the Bible says about a topic, being a former Bible college student. However, I find that when someone reads the Bible and looks at what Jesus taught, He had much more to say against hypocrites than he did those who simply did not follow any religious teaching at all. As to the part of the working poor, I suspect that it is much more the norm for our country than the elites would have us to believe. I earn a fraction now of what I did in my days of foundry work, doing the 12 hour days, seven days a week. However, I am much farther ahead then I ever was then. The reason is actually very simple. I am completely debt free. I have no credit cards of any kind. I am pretty much convinced that debt and easy credit is the chain that binds the classes in place. I hate to get into numbers, but I have at times made in the seventies per year, and now barely in the twenties. Yet, now, if I decided that I wanted to buy something, I could, within reason. Like right now, I am looking for my first 1911. I am not spending 1000$, but instead looking to spend around 4-5 hundred. I am waiting for the best deal that I can get. Fifty dollars might not seem like much to some people, but for me, it is not just the money but also getting the best deal from a dealer that I want to give my business to.

Tam said...

"Like right now, I am looking for my first 1911. I am not spending 1000$, but instead looking to spend around 4-5 hundred."

Might I offer two common sayings?

1) It is possible to be both penny-wise and pound-foolish.


2) Buy once, cry once.

Anonymous said...

I've been poor, but I've never been in poverty.

Poor is a financial condition. Poverty is a mindset.