Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

  • Mood:

I've been reading up on my own insensitivity

I am in the middle of Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed.
This is a non-fiction work in which a Key West writer takes working class jobs to see, as essentially a math problem, how
hard it is to live on a low wage. As with other books with this general theme, the book works best when she sets out the day to day story, and works least when she tries to draw broad intercalary conclusions. The whole thing has me thinking about how little I do to make a difference. I have come over the years to believe in the simple neighborhood virtues--the food bank, the friends of the library, the free park event, the no admission community concert. How much have I done to facilitate them?
Not much of anything lately, a dollar here and a nickel there.
I don't know what I'm going to do, and whatever I do I know will be inadequate, but I know I'm going to do something more than just finish the book. My parents both grew up in the Great Depression,
when being working poor was commonplace, and being just plain poor
was not at all unusual. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, in relative affluence. I went into a helping profession, and I get to help people there, but I can do more. This book has been a good
bit of inspiration, but let's see if it really turns into perspiration.

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