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Friday, May 12, 2017

Life is Good No Matter What

Making Ends Meet

About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.”
Herbert Hoover

This quote reminds me of my Aunt Lane, who spent her adult life working at minimum wage jobs. She had five mouths to feed, so her life was a constant balancing act. She worked for many years at a Buster Brown clothing factory making play clothes for children. The only way for her to make more money there was to produce more than the required amount each day. Each seamstress sewed only one seam--for instance, the sleeves of a shirt--then it passed to the next, who hemmed the garment, and so on. Lane was good with her sewing machine, and very motivated to get past production to earn the extra pay. But when she mastered a seam and could produce more than the day's requirement, the supervisor put her on a different machine, sewing a different seam. There was always a learning curve to slow her down. Her financial ends never met but she produced a gigantic family, all of whom adored her. Riches come in many forms.

Being a middle child, I always protest when life isn't fair, but the truth is, life is never fair. When it comes to money, opportunity, and access, there will always be winners and losers. What is galling is that the winners are not always decent people, and the losers often are. My son and I were talking just yesterday about a man known to the community as “Junk-man Joe,” who, as a young man, was beaten so badly that he has a steel plate in his head covering a pretty damaged brain. Joe is an old man now, but he's still out there gathering junk wherever he can find it to sell for whatever he can get. He has no money, opportunity or access, but he has strength of spirit and will to live. His ends will never meet, but he doesn't give up. For me, that makes him a winner.

I respect people who find a way to make a life out of slim-to-none--who create a happy life, no matter what their circumstances. I know independently wealthy people who are not able to do that. Their ends meet and even overlap and pile up, but there is never enough. Perception is everything. The way we perceive our life is the way we will experience it. I hope your ends meet today, but if they don't, turn on some music and dance anyway.

                                                                In the Spirit,

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