Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Doers And The Takers

…..There are doers in this world and there are takers. I don’t want to draw lines and divide us all, but somewhere is a line that divides those who take more than they give from those who give more then they take.
…..But let’s not obsess about it too much. The line that does divide the takers from the givers is not one that’s easy to see. It’s probably not one that we as human beings are capable of drawing, seeing as so many different factors go into what makes a person’s stay on this earth a net asset as opposed to a net liability. A housewife who has never worked a day in her life has done more than most if she has raised healthy, contributing children who are looking out for their fellow man, especially if she has found time to contribute to various volunteer activities most of us just don’t seem to find the time for. Again, that line is a difficult one to draw and I’m humble enough not to presume that I am capable of judging just where it should go. It’s the sort of thing wise people leave in God’s hands, whether they believe in Him or not.
…..What I can say, I think, is where it should not be drawn. Being human beings we like to come up with simplistic models in order to help us understand a complicated reality, and no more so with drawing the line between the doers and the takers. And the yardstick we use to measure between the two uses dollar bills instead of inches. You see, money is the final determiner of who contributes and who is a drain on society. At least to many people. At least to those who own the media and influence our legislators with healthy campaign donations. According to them, money is the measurement that never lies, it is the golden rod sent down from Heaven to measure the worth of a man. If you are paid a lot of money, you are worth more to society, such a thing is unquestionable according to the wisdom of today.
…..As I said, we humans like to find a quick and easy answer to everything, but life is never quick or easy unless you are both very fortunate and very dumb.
…..I appreciate those who hustle and make things happen. I freely admit that I am not always one of those people. There are those who are able to direct the energies of others in order to make possible what those people individually would never be able to accomplish. (If at any time during my argument you feel I am neglecting that fact, please reread this paragraph). Such people deserve adequate recognition and recompense.
…..But having said that, let us not confuse those who are capable of making a lot of money with those who have given more than they have taken. Assuredly there is a great deal of overlap between the two, but let us not mistake one group for the other. Let us not use the yardstick of money as the only measuring stick.
…..Because there are many people who earn their money in ways that do not benefit society. Oh, I know, the magic of the market states money equals value, but I learned the silliness of such a notion at about the same time as my dad gave me the lowdown on The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and Santa. Sorry, Virginia, there is no such thing as magic.
…..You see, I’ve always liked good music and could never understand why the worst sort of musicians often made the most money. Just how much did Milli Vanilli make, anyhow? I appreciated really good writers and wondered why they were rarely the ones you could find on the bestsellers list. And don’t try and sell me the idea that in some way they’re making the world better by producing what they do, because I’m not buying it. Don’t tell me 50 Cent is worth the money he made, don’t tell me EL James has given more to society than Daniel Woodrell, because that insults my intelligence, insults the very concept of intelligence.
…..You don’t have to be jobless to be a taker. As a matter of fact, all you have to do is take more out than you put in. You say you work 60 hours a week? Good. But do you receive more for those sixty hours a week than the sweatshop worker who works the same amount of hours who made those clothes you’re wearing? Don’t tell me you work harder because I don’t buy it. You say you work smarter but is part of that intelligence in knowing how to extract more from those sweatshop workers?
…..The world is full of hardworking people who aren’t getting their share of the pie and yet the only complaints you seem to hear are from those with the biggest slices. Anyone whose belly is not bursting from their gluttony, anyone whose plate is not piled high with the fat of the labor of others, is called a taker. And worse, much worse. Spend five minutes on some media stations and you’ll hear those without adequate capital described as subhuman parasites that are dangers to society.
…..To those who equate wealth with worth, I say this: when you’re old and in a nursing home, perhaps then you will finally appreciate the worth of those who do the hard jobs for low wages. Maybe then you’ll see just how hard others work for their living, how much more they contribute to society than what they get in return. There are so many doing an honest day’s toil regardless of the inequality of the system. Maybe when your are old you will see how people are willing to clean up the accident you had in your pants and still manage to treat you with a measure of dignity.

…..Of course there are takers on the other end of the spectrum too, those who are doing as little as possible at dead end jobs to get whatever money they can. Poor takers are no better than rich takers, always looking out for themselves and trying to maximize profits. But to you who believe all people without blossoming stock portfolios are takers, who give nothing back to society, I can only hope that the ones who are changing your adult diaper are not the kind that will prove you wrong.

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