Have you noticed? The world is in a frightened spiral, gasping and flopping like a caught fish. The economy has more than tanked; it has fallen to the floor, been eaten by the dog, and crapped out a day later…only to be sniffed by another dog. People are freaking out. Social safety nets aren’t strong enough to hold the people falling through the cracks. There have been at least three horrific shootings in the last four days; one of them, the church shooting on Sunday, was the home church of some friends of ours. They were not there, thank God, because the husband was traveling and the wife was running late because of Daylight Savings. I’m so grateful their kids were not there for that, one of them has autism and…sigh…I can’t even begin to imagine how that would have affected him.
I talk to friends who are moving across the country for a better job. I talk to friends who desperately need to find a job. I talk to friends who may have to sell their house because jobs are so scarce.
And I feel guilty.
I don’t need to work. I want to work, and I have a home-based business that allows me to work on my terms…mostly. If I were to need to find an outside job, I’d be royally screwed. I’m not qualified for much, because staying home for the kids and raising them to be productive members of society isn’t a marketable characteristic. I could go back to teaching, or get on the local districts’ sub lists, but dang. I left teaching for a reason. Mental health is a reason.
Tom has a good job and despite the economy (knockwoodmylipstoGod’searspinaroundthreetimesandspit) it’s stable. We’ve made good decisions in the past, like buying a home that we could afford without cutting back elsewhere, and not carrying a lot of bad debt. Despite my excursions to Costco that leave me without a left lung, I don’t shop much, and hit the sales more often than not. We’re putting off all big purchases and home improvements for at least a year and the Disney trip for the summer is paid in full.
But I feel guilty.
I see on the news every night about families going hungry, about families losing their homes, about tent cities going up. Here, in this country, in the 21st century, we have families living in tent cities, not because of a natural disaster but a man-made one. This is not right.
And I feel guilty.
I don’t know what to do, but I do know this. It will probably get worse before it gets better. I suspect it’s going to get much worse before it gets much, much better. I know that I can’t do much, but I’ll do what I can. I’ll cut back further here at home and do what I can to help others. It’s getting ugly out there, and we’re only going to make it through this by sticking together. Love thy neighbor.
But I still feel guilty.