Family is where it is!!!!!

Family is where it is!!!!!
Christmas in Disney
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Remember that "Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly,                love fully and laugh uncontrollably....."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sometimes, Putting on a Happy Face Does a Disservice to Reality

This is a very powerful piece on poverty and society with a very different twist.

November 2, 2009 by Teresa Basich from her her blog , Overcommunicated
Breaking through the noise.

Update: After receiving some feedback about this post coming off as whiny and entitled, I want to clarify a few things. I didn’t bring up my inability to buy an iPhone or expensive body wash to shine a light on “Poor Little T”–I made those points to show that I *feel* the quality of my life has diminished; things that I used to be able to afford without question now qualify as investments I have to mull over. Seeing and feeling the quality of your life diminish is a bad and scary thing, no matter who you are. I think a heightened sense of awareness to change in quality of life is common in those of us who’ve lost our jobs, and it bears recognizing. Honestly, I bet we all are a little more aware right now. And I’m sure it’s especially obvious, and infinitely scarier, to job seekers taking care of children and spouses, and I know they have a harder road to walk down than I do. I get that.

The face of poverty and financial hardship isn’t just the face of a starving child in Africa. Am I discounting the validity of supporting children in Africa? Not at all! We all deserve fair and good treatment. But, fair and good treatment is becoming less and less prevalent in the US, and if we don’t recognize where we’re heading we won’t be able to stop our momentum before it’s too late. THAT is my point.

I in no way meant to display any sense of entitlement here other than the entitlement we as humans have to a life we each subjectively define as good, fair and abundant.


No snark. No wit. Just numbers. And anger.

The 2009 poverty line, stated to be an individual’s or family’s pre-tax annual income, for a single person living in one of the 48 contiguous US states is $10,830.

California awarded me unemployment benefits of approximately $11,500 for a year. My weekly award is the maximum a jobless individual can receive from the state.

But, I’m not receiving regular unemployment right now. Because of the inadequacy of my state’s employment department, because it finds you guilty before proven innocent, I’ve received $470 this year from the state. Even though I paid into this system. Even though this system was created to protect me from severe financial hardship.

Read this. Then come back so we can talk about it, because we’ve been sweeping the implications of rising unemployment under the rug for too long and I’ve had it with the bullshit cover-ups.

You know what stuck out to me in this piece? The inadequacy of our current means of poverty measurement and the potential alternative forms of measurement we could be using to better gauge what poverty really means—specifically, the alternative that measures not only material hardship but “…to what extent that hardship blocks full participation in society.”

Financial hardship blocks full participation in society.

How many of your friends and family are struggling with financial hardship right now due to unemployment, furloughs or reduced pay? Are you struggling?

Have you thought about what that financial hardship has done to their or your ability to engage with society?

And, related, have you taken the time to consider the completely outlandish distribution of money in this country?

Does all this make you angry? Does it make you want to FIX things?

It should.

But the funny thing is here we are, still trying to follow the same business strategies that got us into this mess, still acting from a greedy and self-absorbed place, still being narrow-minded and decidedly ignorant about what the future holds if we keep going down this road.

What the hell is it going to take to get us to change?!

In my current situation I can’t really participate in society. I haven’t been able to for about 6 months. When I do, now, it’s because some gracious individual stepped in to make it possible. And it’s SO invigorating that when I go back to non-participation, to living in limbo, it’s like I had the breath knocked out of me…and I can’t seem to get enough breath to bring me back to good.

My luxury item is coffee twice a week. That iPhone I wanted? Yeah, that was a joke. I used to buy this fantastic body wash from Lush—haven’t purchased it in a year. Those slacks my mom helped me buy for MPDM? I didn’t wear ‘em, so they’re going back to the store this week. I need that money to help pay my car insurance.

And I consider myself lucky. I have a family willing to help me.

Do you guys GET this? Do you understand what all this means? This problem of non-participation and real, increasing levels of poverty that keep us from CONSUMING will perpetuate for as long as we ignore what’s caused it—working and living from a place of greed and covering up the truths of what that’s done to people.

Don’t ask me to cheer up or make the best of my situation. I do that often enough. Don’t tell me it’ll all be okay. Let me cry for a bit and show people what the frustration of financial hardship and a year of job searching really look like. Constantly covering up these issues doesn’t motivate us to work to fix them; it just lets us ignore their existence. And the more we continue to ignore, the worse life and business and this world will get

Think about what you’ve sacrificed this year and let yourself be mad about it. You don’t have to cover up all the time what’s happened to your life this past year.

Masks are made to be temporary, and we, as a nation, have worn the “Everything is Okay, This is Just a Phase” mask for way too long. Only when we recognize how far we’ve fallen and where we’ve landed can we plot an effective course back to the top.

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