Another four-letter word

Or maybe, in this specific case, two of them in close proximity:

Our country, today, has a crisis with hard work. We don’t seem to have a good understanding of what it is. There is evidently a whole lot of loud, opinionated people running around, many of them nursing resentments, who see it as what could best be expressed as “suffering that pays something.” Dig a hole, dig another hole, take the dirt from the second hole and put it in the first hole, dig the first hole and put the dirt in the second hole … at the end & middle of the month you get a check.

This must be what they mean by “shovel-ready” projects. Or, you know, not:

Um, that’s not what work is supposed to be. It’s supposed to have something to do with objects changing states for some purpose to be served. Also, we have a problem with that check. You cash it and pay some bills, buy food, hopefully there’s enough left over to put in savings. Well that part is right … but there’s a massive neglect of human potential taking place here when so many think of it as THE bills. THE this-credit-card, THE that-credit-card, THE heating bill. It’s easy to fall into this trap. And I guess, as long as something makes it into savings, it doesn’t really matter … but it seems people forget the bills do not represent injury, they represent activity. The trap of “paycheck happy face, bills sad face” reduces human potential because it makes it untenable to seriously consider taking on a new bill.

Then again, some folks have had so much activity that it becomes injury, most easily spotted when THE bills outweigh the paycheck. And a few of us might be tempted to wonder if it’s worth stashing away $100, which in a year at present rates of return will grow to about $100.50, at which time it might be able to buy about $96 worth of stuff if we’re lucky.

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