You know, those days that you lament how hard life is; how nothing works for you; the f**k my life moments? I think a couple of people are nodding their heads.
Well, today was one of those days. I was not particularly moaning about how hard life is, in fact, life is good but as always, it can be better.
Today I heard a first person account of how hard life can be. This guy has had a hard start in life, got mixed in the wrong crowd and got into major trouble. He is the same age as me and it gives me a whiplash when I think about how different our lives are. Outwardly, he looks really rough, dressed in baggy well-worn clothes which are always slightly dirty. When he speaks, he sounds coarse and if you listen long and hard enough, sometimes you can hear the weariness in his voice.
He shared about what he does for a living. Proudly, he stated that he does some cleaning for an office every week from Monday- Thursday. He continued to share that he receives $25. In my mind, I thought he meant $25 an hour but he clarified and stated that he gets $25 a week!
Saying that I was flabbergasted is a complete understatement.
I couldn’t help but ask how he got the job and the pay rate. With a sigh, he said that someone he knew hooked him up with the job, and he couldn’t complain as it was better than nothing. Also, it keeps him out of trouble. When asked if he receives welfare, his shoulders dropped a little more and he stated that his guardian screwed him over by not sending through his rent payments to his old landlord, thus, he has been cut off.
We talked more about it and we discussed how he manages to live, buy food and all. He lets out an unguarded laugh and said that he relies on handouts and the generosity of people he knows, then he said, “I wish I have money.” before anyone else could say anything, he continued, “then all my problems will go away.”
As I sit here, in my cozy house, writing this, I can’t help but feel more thankful for my life circumstances- sure I have my own demons, but at this point, they are nothing compared to his.
If you are a business owner (read: position of power) and/or if you employ anyone, make sure that you pay them based on their work not on their past. More importantly, treat people as people and if you have the opportunity and capacity to help someone, do so.
On another note, does money buy happiness? If so, how much and what would you buy?