All of these protests, every group rising up to make themselves seen and heard, on all sides, all clamoring to let the world know, we are here, we are strong, look at our numbers, fear us. We will fight you. And that tiny button was a breaking point where I finally felt sad for the human race.
I have no group championing me, I am I guess one of those white privileged people. I don’t know hardship the way so many wealthy celebrities have. I’m not a minority, I am not a woman, not LBGT, I don’t have anxiety issues, or OCD/ADHD, I’m just me.
My privledge is working the same job for 31 years, I have worked since I was 12, not of course the job I’m at now. I have not seen a pay raise in 10 years, in fact for 3 years after being laid off for 18 months, I took a 20% pay cut to go back to work. I’ve been laid off of work several times, sometimes for 3-6 months, once for more than a year, and another for 18 months, I have a small home in a small town, I pay my mortgage just on time, I’m never ahead. I fix things that break because I cannot afford to hire professionals. I’ve lost both of my parents to cancer, my father when I was 23. I married a wonderful woman. We have never had children. It was not in the cards for us. We make enough to get by. We are fortunate enough that we could open our home to a friend on his last legs to get a fresh start. We have 4 cats, all of whom have been adopted from shelters, and two I saved from the parking lot at work. I have a car, it’s 11 years old and has close to 160,000 miles on it. I drive 60 miles a day for work, it use to be 80, but our offices moved. When I was 5 years old I had open chest surgery for a depressed sternum, they were not sure what kind of life I would have, or if I would ever be able to do anything as simple as go outside to play. My parents never told me that, they just let me be a kid, and I guess I turned out ok. I am the child of alcoholic parents. So yeah?? I’m privileged?
We live our lives trying to be good people. We donate when we can, even at times we can’t. We always help out when friends need help. We go about our lives day after day. I am no one notable or special. I do what I have to to get to the next day, the next week, month, year. I will most likely have to work until the day I die. Which is really sad to think about. I just turned 54, and will still be working when I’m 74.
My American dream never happened I guess. I mean to some extent I am better off than a lot of people. But what I have in life I have worked for. I did extra work around the house when I was a kid. I saved all of my money, and I bought a used Black and White TV from my mom and dad, so they could buy a new color TV for the living room. I did really well in school and got an Atari 2600 one year for Christmas and my Birthday combined. Everything I have I have worked for. When I see people complain how tough things are, how they cannot afford to live, while holding their $500 cell phone, wearing designer shoes, driving their BMW, I just shake my head.
Today I lost a tiny button, and instead of getting mad, instead of firing off an email complaint to the manufacturer, boycotting the store I purchased it at, I just had a feeling of sadness for the human race. That we turn to violence and protest, because things are not easy. To get ahead in life takes hard work. Before you point at me and claim I have privilege. Perhaps you would enjoy spending a few days living my life.
This young man right here. This is overcoming adversity to do something with your life. Never let anyone tell you you cannot do something. It has to start with you.