Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My get up and go, got up and left

I heard a story once about hundreds of rats trapped in a room. At first they bustled about—even tried to work together—until growing frantic...and hungry. It didn’t take long until the creatures started eating each other, pawing through flesh until they reached bone. All the rats lay decaying and bleeding in a sort of stench that could make even the dead retch. Finally, one rat remained. And after he looked around, he gingerly lifted up his own leg...and started eating.

This is how the economy feels right now. We can’t bury our heads in the sand; the economy is struggling. And as such, bigger companies—thinking they can benefit—swoop in and try to overtake markets. They might look like “hometown” places, disguised as the people who work for them. But they aren’t ‘those’ people. In some cases those poor workers are just a disposable front. Local companies are fighting to not be eaten.  Greed, the deadly sin I’ve never understood, is a driving force with the power to destroy.

Right now, I’m worried, thinking about the local businesses I love. I fear, this could be the end of some of them if people don’t show the support they need. Companies everywhere have cut employee hours and services.  It appears workers continue striving under significantly reduced pay and hours, yet those in essential roles have absorbed more work than ever before.

We, as a society, have worked so hard to succeed…but, like a game of chess, the economy is losing her pawns, worried it might become one itself. Slowly people are giving time, hearts, and souls to the American dream; yet, the economy still feels like a vacuum.

As I tucked my son into bed the other day, he asked, “Do you think people will talk about this in the future; when the coronavirus brought the world together?”  He went on to talk about a common enemy uniting people “like in the movies.”

“This will be in the history books for sure, kid.” His eyes lit up.  “When you’re a very old man, I bet people will ask you what it was like to live through this.”

“Really?  And I can tell them about the grocery stores being empty, businesses closing, people going nuts over toilet paper…and how we couldn’t find Top Ramen?!”

“You’ll have to tell them all of that,” I said.  “Hey,” I said before walking from his room, “is that a roll of toilet paper hidden under your bed?”

“Yeah, you never know when you might need it.”

As I shut his door, a realization hit me.  My grandparents used to hide things like that (toilet paper, medicine, shampoo…canned food).  My grandma said it started after they lived through the Great Depression.  They were brilliant people, business-minded and savvy.  If they could live through all that and be all right, I figure we’ll be okay too. 

Rats and a struggling economy aside, there are lessons to be garnered that will buoy future generations forward and make them better for it. 

Some “old-timers” have worried about technology and a pervading laziness that has come to rest over generations.  Maybe all of that is about to change as we strive to help ourselves and each other so the places we love can make it through these hard times.

What we have right now is hope... Hope is “an expectation.” So for now, I’m going to “expect” to find something positive in all this.  After all, we get what we look for

No comments:

Post a Comment