I’ve been watching news and pundits for awhile now. I’ve been listening to politicians and I’ve even worked for politicians. But that’s not what I want to talk about. Let’s not talk politics…yet. (Yes, there was a debate and I’ll talk about that later.)
What I overwhelmingly hear from all politicians and pundits is that people love to work and need to work and if they are not working they sure better be looking for a job so that they can start working and contributing to society.
Work and Worth
If you don’t “work” in a society you are pretty much screwed as a recognized human being in said society. You’re not paying taxes or doing your fair share.
Well actually, every time you shop you are paying taxes. Every time you pay rent you are paying taxes. Every time you make a payment on utilities you are paying some form of taxes. We are pretty much paying taxes a lot.
Okay, so work doesn’t necessarily mean paying taxes? Did you know “income” tax is a fairly new idea? It didn’t come around until 1913 with the 16th amendment. Sales tax wasn’t around until the 1930’s.
I recall when my daughter got her first job. She was pretty happy of the achievement. Because of her extreme anxiety and issues with depression, she hadn’t ventured out to the work force until around 26 or so years-old.
That never bothered me that she didn’t work. I loved her creative endeavors because she’s a crafty person (meaning she sews and makes ornaments and stuff) and artist. Her art is pretty amazing. I thought that was what she enjoyed, as well as, being a pretty darn good composer and pianist.
The arts are really pretty amazing.
Creativity is pretty amazing.
But unless you are making money with that creative endeavor you sure better keep it a past time and hobby, or we will all judge you heavily as a loser who has their head in the clouds.
I’ve never thought less of her contribution to society or worth before she got a “job.”
But yet, we define people by their “jobs.”
We don’t really think they have much worth unless they are bringing home a paycheck.
My ex puts a lot of clout on working Americans. He was on top of the world when his daughter finally got her act together and started working. He finally told her he was “proud” of her. For the first time. I recall when she told me this and I smiled and said, “Hmm.”
I am being slightly facetious.
Of course, I was proud of her first job too, but she knew that I thought she was pretty amazing and I was proud of her before.
I recall when our kids were small and I wanted to give them allowance as part of their earnings for simply “being.” I told my husband they deserve finances for simply the fact we love them and they are part of our family and they also work hard. He scoffed at such an idea.
He started making lists of how they could “earn” their allowance. Life is about earning – not giving and existing.
The fact you are the child we love doesn’t have much clout.
This always put us at odds.
And maybe there are many reading this who agree that children don’t deserve allowance for the simple fact they are your child and should benefit as part of the family with the pool of earnings. Perhaps you agree with this mindset that unless they are putting in the work they don’t deserve any allowance.
But yet… don’t all kids work from like 8-3:30 every day? That’s not counting home work or projects, or after school extracurricular activities that look good on college resumes, or tutoring needed to keep up those impressive grades.
They have to also wake up early or work on bath time at night when they are dog tired.
But yet… why don’t we consider that work? Or, why don’t we consider any of their existence worth until they are doing chores?
Work is sadly our measurement of worth in this world. It has been for a long time.
Let Me Propose
That you have intrinsic worth for simply “being.” Your very existence gives you worth. The fact you woke up today and took a breath and have a beating heart gives you worth.
The moment you smiled and made that other person smile you had worth. The moment someone told you sincerely, “I love you,” you had worth. The moment you felt in your heart love and told another even, “I love you,” you had worth. The moment your puppy cuddled or your cat purred you had worth.
My son told me, “Sorry I couldn’t buy you anything for Christmas.” He wanted to give me something.
I laughed to myself and smiled, telling him, “The fact you are here with me is all the present I need. You are my gift.”
He joked with me regarding that. He is extremely disabled and doesn’t have a “job” because he simply cannot work in the world how it is set up.
And yet, he has more worth to me than anyone who brings home a paycheck. He blessed me with his company and existence.
Now, he would love to simply die, as he tells me. This life is torturous. I know it is for many out there who struggle with severe disability and mental illness. It’s very Buddhist to realize our life is that of misery and suffering.
But I want to say to you at this time of year, “You have worth.”
Don’t let let anyone tie in your worth with a paycheck. That is not what makes you worthy by any means. That makes you a cog in the gears of society.
Will I Speak on Politics Now?
Yeah, okay – sure.
Politicians so many times get this wrong. They offer you a paycheck. They offer you tax breaks and pittance. They offer you employer-based health care.
They offer you unions and those things that only mean something if you are contributing with a paycheck at a job. They offer strapping young men and women federal job guarantees. They offer a lot with one caveat: work until you die.
A universal basic income (UBI) offers you money for the simple fact you exist and have intrinsic worth.
I’m all for anything that pushes that agenda.
I know many disagree with me on this point. Work will always be tied to worth. “Get a job, loser!” is pretty much a standard sentiment with most working folks. But not everyone can work and some are just creatively different.
I simply disagree with such a sad commentary on society.
And so, I end this Christmas message with one thing:
You have worth and smile at someone today because they have worth too.
Unless they’re a jerk and really mean, and then I say flip them the bird and say, “I hope Santa gives you a lump of coal, loser!”
Yeah… hah, maybe not everyone has worth.
But if you’re reading this and giving it a “Like,” or sharing it, or commenting, or joining the ranks of my faithful followers, then yeah, you definitely have worth… just saying. 😉
And here’s a Christmas song to lift your spirits! Nobody sings it like Nat King Cole.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, and Happy Festivus for the rest of us!
I love you Grace 🙂 ❤