Readjusting Our Priorities
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
I am a security guard in a high-rise building that are so common in every city. In the United States security guards are known to receive low wages, but I am very happy to have the job, and can pay my bills.
One of the companies upstairs is a call center for a multi-million dollar corporation.
Over the years I have been told how much the members of the call center are making per hour. Not surprised but still shocked, I discovered that their monthly take home pay was five to six times higher then what I made.
Every day I would watch these people going to and from work and try to imagine what I would do with all my money if my pay was the same as theirs.
One day a worker stopped at my desk on her way to work and asked me if I knew where she could get a part time job.
"Why?" I innocently asked.
She explained that the company was cutting back on overtime and that she needed to pay bills.
I gave her the name of my company and mentioned that our pay wasn't near what she was making, but it might help. Happy with this information, she went upstairs.
I thought about this.
My life is by no means glamorous. It has taken over thirty years to pay off and cancel my credit cards. It was a conscious choice to give up my car for public transportation and cycling. I have been laughed at for not having a microwave or a tv. People have said it was stupid.
I call it voluntary simplicity.
It is not easy to live in this society. We are constantly being told to buy...buy...buy; that everything has to be new. The old things we own are not good enough. This culture is making us all greedy until we can't pay for yesterdays items that we are being told are useless. And no matter how much money we make, we need more.
We need to readjust our priorities.
Maybe I should have told the woman that she needed to divide her wants from her needs, but that probably would have been rude
Or maybe I should have mentioned that sometimes less is more. But it is too late to tell her.
Or is it?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I think that my generation made a big mistake by telling our children that they can be anything, do anything, have anything they want if they just work hard enough. We've put too much emphasis on material goods and not enough on spiritual values.
I'm working very to change this in my own life, but I realize the hardest thing for me to give up would be travel. I've always had an enormous curiosity about how people live in other countries, and I would honestly live in one room if it meant that I could continue to travel.
Being retired, and on a small pension, with costs going up all the time, I may just end up in that one small room anyway!
1341 days ago
I'm trying really hard (well, maybe not REALLY hard) to simplify my life. I actually decluttered my attic last year and got rid of things I'd been hanging onto for years...and years. I still have a long way to go because I like my stuff, but I am trying to not buy MORE stuff.
1491 days ago
A very timely blog!
I prefer a fairly simple lifestyle, but I do like some technology (like this computer, my sewing machine, my cell phone, etc) As I think about it, it really is not so simple in many ways. My DH is in a high tech business & must keep up with technology in his area, at least. I think we make it as simple as we can in our situation. We live in the country, grow a garden, do our own yard & home maintenance, landscaping and painting projects, etc.
We are all looking for peace I believe, whether we know it or not. At least, I am, so my simplicity, first of all has to come from within. THAT is my biggest challenge!
Thank you for sharing your blog. It was thought provoking for me for certain.
1512 days ago
Comment edited on: 5/3/2012 10:21:12 PM
I agree....simple is best. I was made redundant last year and am living on a small income. I still have money left over each month because I buy on the basis of real need rather than what grabs my attention in the shops. I am also happier now than when I was earning quite a decent salary because I have time to do things that I enjoy.
1514 days ago
Lifestyle is such a personal choice. I commend you on yours. It's called living within your means and we should all do it. Sometimes I get aggravated at people knocking on my door selling something, or asking to trim my trees or mow my yard. I also wonder about people who buy prepared food all the time and never cook anything at home. Some people don't even make a cup of coffee at home. How much money are they wasting?
But then I think, at least they are out there TRYING to work, because if you want money, WORKING for it is the right way to get it, yes? I worked interviewing inmates for 7 yrs. If I was ever biased against anyone it was those people I found who did not have a job, had never had a job and had no plans to have a job. I guess I admire people who work for a living, lol.
So, I think you did right in giving the information asked for. The woman is willing work more since she wants or needs more. If only every person was like that.
On the other hand, I could do without all the niceties of life, except PLUMBING! lol I like hot showers and toilets that flush!! I would defintely work for those, lol.
1514 days ago
Comment edited on: 5/2/2012 6:26:03 AM
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