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  A few days ago I felt like a real spoiled b*tch . My husband and I have to spend $300 to have a new starter put in our minivan. As I was unloading the groceries I was completely stressed and mad about having to spend that kind of money on car repairs. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. What the f*ck is wrong with me!?!?!?! We are so beyond lucky. Yes $300 sucks and yes we are going to have to tighten our belts. We are still able to buy our children’s school supplies, food to feed our children that is not pre-processed garbage full of sugar and extra chemicals, make a nice birthday dinner for my husband, go to the doctor whenever one of us are sick without worrying about the cost, and have a home to live in. Many American’s today do not have that. So yes I was being a real jacka$$ and had to put myself in check.

   Today many American’s are still struggling (not a strong enough word) in the Great Recession which the Republicans insist on keeping around for two simple reasons: they do not like a black man in the White House and to line their own pockets with payoffs from the top 1%. Many The Republican Party wants to deepen that struggle. The step backwards party wants to repeal Obamacare which will cover millions of Americans who did not have access to  health insurance, cut 280,000 children from free breakfast and lunch programs from schools across the nation  (many of whom could possibly be the only meals they eat during the week), 50% of Americans are at or below the poverty level, and 33% of the male homeless populations are veterans just to name a few.

   It is important to put ourselves in check when we complain about situations that arise and remind ourselves that others, fellow citizens, have it much worse in order to push forward and keep our values alive. It is also equally important to remember, given corporate and political greed, anyone of us can at any point can be part of the struggling class. For example the reason why my family is able to avoid the Great Recession is because Uncle Sam still has a use for my husband. We are also very much aware with an injury and/or the downsizing of the military our stability could change at any moment. Despite the image Republicans give about caring for the troops and their families they are more than willing to cut our benefits and hand that money over to private contracts for the right price in campaign contributions or a high paying job after office. The difference between conservative and liberal individuals is that liberals are able to show empathy. We, as liberals,  in the words of Atticus Finch  "consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Empathy is a great tool that conservatives are unwilling to tap into.  We are also able to understand and think ahead with the very real fact what is to prevent us who are more fortunate right now from becoming the very poor in the future with lack of economic stability, corporate greed and fraud, and the erosion of the social safety net and workers rights.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A great reminder to stop and really look (6+ / 0-)

    at what we do have and how we can manage our lives. Now I don't believe in comparing ... "I hated that I had no shoes until a met the person with no feet." Comparisons like that only make us look down on people or double up on protecting what we have.

    I mean really looking and figuring whether what we have is what we want or what others/society think that we should want ... not have, so much as long for.

    Some 10 years ago I was on top of the world ... great job I loved with people I respected, enough money to buy what I needed (at bill paying time, I no longer had to pray before sitting down with a glass of cheap wine to figure out what could wait and what was urgent), friends, health, etc. Then life fell apart ... my boss retired, I had to move, I got so sick I almost died, no health care, absolutely no income ... ya know, the usual sob story.

    I certainly changed my mind about what I needed in my future ... I no longer want my long desired month long trip to Australia; gone too is the dream of my beautiful yellow convertible BMW roadster with the black top and 6 speeds; my shopping trips to the upscale stores are thing of the past; not going to Scotch school in Scotland does leave me with a tiny twinge.  

    But I have gained a clarity about living each day to the fullest and appreciating the things I do have. My life is simpler but much more fulfilling.

    This does not mean that I stop working for equality and justice, just that I don't get as caught up in letting my soul be defined by things outside of me.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:58:36 PM PDT

  •  Years ago, I drove a'clunker' (5+ / 0-)

    and every time the car broke down- I asked myself- "Can I buy a new car for $250.00?  Or $380.00?

    That's when reality hits in.  Granted, spending money on car repairs is a pain- how I wished for a new car with no problems.  But that was my life.

    Fast forward to about ten years ago.  I got a relatively 'new' car (6 years old at the time of purchase).  Within a year I had to replace the entire exhaust system at a cost of almost $1000.00.

    I now drive a car that is 21 years old.  It just passed inspection again (I hold my breath every year) and it gets me where I need to go- work, shopping, home.

    Your diary reminded me of the Phil Collins song- Another Day In Paradise.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:45:51 PM PDT

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