After having three conversations today with different people from different backgrounds I pondered about how far have we strayed here in America from the concept of good honest work. I felt compelled to write my thoughts about those conversations for they are really tugging at me to get out and into words.
One person I spoke with is an immigrant from Romania who moved here to escape Communism. This person lived under communism and is extremely concerned about the apathy permeating our society and more about the "give me a hand-out syndrome" that has infected our country.
When people would rather go and take a day to demonstrate their desire for more benefits because they are unemployed than to spend that time and effort looking for work- it baffles my mind. I have always been self employed so I will never ever be a recipient of unemployment checks from an employer or a government. I guess I just "don't get it".
When people, more than 40,000 of them will take a whole day in the heat of the Atlanta sun just for the small tiny chance to get put on a waiting list for section 8 housing- and there are only going to be a little over 400 homes available during the next 3 years- it had me in a stupor. How far have we come from pioneer families building their own homes through the labor of their own hands to where a house is expected to be just "given" to them!
I then thought about the people in Greece who are so used to the government taking care of them that they totally freaked out when their handouts were going to be cut. Like, how about going to work? How about making your way in life?
The energy that it takes to stand there permeating the negative could be used for positive action which will empower positive results. What ever happened to the goals of being able to sustain oneself and his or her family? Self sufficiency is freedom. Self sufficiency raises self confidence and creates the mindset to be able to accomplish great things. Dependence on the government for one's paychecks, food or housing created serfdom. In searching for the hand out with an expectation that it is owed to you creates a bondage that is all consuming and never ending. It sucks the passion right out of people. It does not help, in fact, it hurts people way more than we even know.
I have been running into many people who are unemployed and then when I ask them, what are you doing to get employed, they say that they don't want to work because they make more money being unemployed than getting a lower paying job. I have talked to business owners who say that people will come in and tell them they are only there to get an application filled out so they can keep getting unemployment and have no intention of getting hired there.
But I will make an observation- I don't see immigrants to this country complaining about not getting unemployment benefits. In fact, I see and know many immigrants who work more than two jobs. They work and work and work. They are SO happy that there is work. I don't hear them complain that they are working. It sure beats standing in bread lines!
I learned that you do what you got to do. You sacrifice, you make your own way in life. You do what it takes to arrive where it is you want to end up. Sure, things get tough. That is what molds character.
Just ask my friend from Romania. He can tell you all about what happened when people depended on the government in Romania. Just ask my mother. She can tell you all about what happened in Latvia when Stalin came to power. Just ask Nestor or his father, they can tell you all about what happened in Cuba.