The Other Half

Cultural differences have forever driven wedges between humanity here on planet Earth. Language barriers, political and religious differences, and lifestyles that seem nothing short of alien to us make it hard to relate to some of our own species. There is one group, however, that I find particularly hard to understand. A group that resides right here in my own country, the good ole US of A.  I’m speaking of that group of misfits we so lovingly refer to as ‘the other half’, the rich and famous, trust fund kids, or spoiled brats.

Before I ramble on, let me make one thing clear. This isn’t a rant on the rich, if anything I envy those who busted their ass and worked hard to get where they are. I hope one day I can have the same tenacity and determination to fulfill my own dreams. This is a rant on those who have no clue what a hard days work is, what a budget means, or what a bad economy truly entails.

I’m enjoying a little TV when I see yet another commercial for a reality show about some Beverly Hills kids, and it’s enough to make me wanna hurl something through my TV, but that may not be a great idea seeing as how I couldn’t afford to replace it, and there goes about 75% of my entertainment. I can’t tell you anything about the show as I have never nor ever will watch it, so maybe I’m wrong for judging them without really knowing their whole story, and not knowing what they have had to go through in their own lives.  Am I wrong???  I really don’t feel wrong.  As a matter of fact I’ve never felt more right.

I think we all just have this longing to bring them into our world, to show them what struggling to live happily is really like.  To show them what life behind our smiling Facebook pictures is really all about.  Welcome to my world.  Welcome to a world where you have worked for as long as you can remember for a paycheck that will never be enough for the expenses of living in this world.  Welcome to my world where simple things like electricity have been taken away not just numerous times, but usually numerous times a year.  Welcome to my world where grocery shopping gives me a stress headache, because all I can think is what bill can I let go for just a little longer to keep food on the table.  You wanna hear the kicker, you spoiled brat?  I’m one of the lucky ones.  Yeah, that’s right, maybe I sounded a little ungrateful as I listed a few of my own personal hardships, but the truth is every day I’m thankful.  I’m thankful to have a job to go to.  I’m thankful to have food on my table, and to be honest I’m pretty lucky because throughout the years I have been fortunate enough to buy a few extras.  I now live in a decent home, I have a nice TV, internet, a computer, a game console, books, and other items just for my entertainment.

If in my situation, where every day is a constant struggle to not only be happy, but to just stay afloat in this troubled economy, I can still look around and see how good I truly have it compared to so many others, don’t you think that maybe you could do the same?  I’m not asking you to give up what’s been given to you, or to alter your lavish lifestyle.  I’m just asking that maybe you take a second to look around and  see the real world you’re living in, and be thankful you were born into a safety net that protects and shields you from the ugly we’re dealing with on a daily basis.  Then maybe next time I see your face on my TV, I can escape my reality for a few minutes and actually enjoy watching you live your lavish lifestyle without hating you so much.

Joe Stilwell

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