States, cities, countries…. none are the same but yet they all are similar… So wtbs where are you guys from? What’s home for you? I reside in Mississippi… home to the magnolia, the hummingbird, and low wages???
Yeah.. minimum wage in Mississippi is $7.25. While I don’t have solid evidence if we have the lowest wages, I know we don’t compare with the big dogs. Now if you’ve been following and reading since the beginning you’ll know that I’ve only been a working woman for a year so while that dollar amount isn’t new.. its new. You will also know that my experiences haven’t been the best.
However, I’ve never much complained. Though I make what most classify as “little money”, I’m grateful for what it covers and I try not to go overboard with spending. That’s why I’m glad to say that since July 2018 I haven’t gone without a few dollars to my name. So yay for me…
Anyway, last summer I was writing from a hurt place due to how I was being treated at my workplace. This summer was a little different. I started a new job in fast food and despite what people say, it wasn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. While my circumstances were uncomfortable at times, I got good enough hours and I learned valuable lessons about morale and dignity. But there were times I felt attacked. I would log onto social media to see a post condemning those who work at McDonald’s or those who get a check under a certain amount. I constantly saw shots thrown at those who “weren’t chasing a bag”. To everyone else, if you earned $7.25 or even $8.05, you were just at the bottom of the food chain.
Now I don’t know how open-minded other people are but I always try to understand every case scenario. But it was really hard for me to understand why the people of my generation had to belittle everyone who wasn’t exactly on the same accord as them. I’m not writing this to harp on anyone because that’s not my place… If someone feels like they have to get 2 jobs so they can pull in more cash then more power to them. If someone my age is getting by on a check because they don’t have any bills who cares. It’s okay. The big picture though is that There’s more to life than money.
Yeah, I said it. Money isn’t everything. We’ve all been programmed to make having a lot of money our end goal. We won’t take volunteer work because there’s no pay in that. We’ll quit one job for another if they pay more. We go take our checks and try to play the system so that we have more. We’ll get a job, hate it, but work ourselves to the bone so we can make it seem like we’re making something happen. But we aren’t.
In Playlist for Your Problems, I gave you guys some songs to check into. Do you know that one Sleep Deprived? Well in the third verse Mez says
Money gon’ help with a lot of things but not the trauma though.
And that’s true. Sure, money is great to have but once it goes then what? Continue to work like a slave every week or two? No.
That brings me to something I read a little while ago in a blog post by Jason Craig.
“[Vocations] are specific kinds of work to which [people] are summoned by God or by their natural gifts or talents. The kind of work may be cabinet-making or music-making, cooking or forestry, medicine or mechanics, science or law or philosophy or farming – any kind of work that is whole… A “job,” by contrast, is understood as any work whatever that one can earn money by doing…” (Wendell Berry, The Art of Loading Brush, 79).
As the world offers a general “freedom to do whatever you want,” so to the “job market” seems to be a game of just finding the highest paying thing possible, without thought to what it might do to the soul or the family. “Meaning” at these jobs is affectedly presented by motivational speakers and posters, but so many men I’ve spoken with voice a desire for work to actually mean something. But I think we’ve witnessed enough to say that many jobs today drain us of humanity and drive us from things that matter, or mean, most.
While I’m not a man, I share the desire of wanting my work to mean something too. Don’t get me wrong, jobs are important and we all need financial stability but we need more than that. We need vocations. We need dreams.
I just recently watched the movie Acrimony by Tyler Perry and I want to talk about the husband Robert for just a second. The character caused some controversy in the social media community due to his “mooching” behavior. As women watched they said they wouldn’t stay with a man who didn’t work and then took all the spouses’ money little by little chasing a “pipe dream”. At first, I thought the same thing. But then looking more into the situation, I thought about vocations again. You have to love your work without pay sometimes. Along with that, you have to believe in your dream. In the movie, everyone doubted this man and his invention: his wife, her family, corporate America. They shut him out. They dismissed his dream. But for 18 years he perfected what he had until it was perfect. The outcome: a multimillion-dollar deal.
I say all that to say real success doesn’t come fast. Quick money doesn’t last. So instead of thinking so much about the wage, think about the work and how you are going to make it mean something.