Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Willing to dig ditches?


Bad economic news continues to be reported by all the news media. Whether we get our news from the internet, newspaper, radio, television or word of mouth, the message is the same – the economy continues heading south with falling real estate prices, new home foreclosures, rising unemployment and corporate red ink. Reading this dismal news during the Christmas season reminds me of the Dr. Seuss classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!".

As a middle-age man, I’ve witnessed three decades of our economy's highs and lows in action and inaction. People from a generation or two before me have a greater perspective as many experienced the stock market crash of 1929 and major depression that followed. I don’t believe we will experience anything like that this time but time will tell and may prove me wrong.

Personally, I don’t know many people who are unemployed. Those I do know still manage to put food on their family table. I live in a gentrified neighborhood adjacent to downtown with a large homeless community. My homeless neighbors still appear to eat as they did when the economy was better.

What would the unemployed do if their jobs never came back and their unemployment benefits expired? Would they ever be hungry with no money for food? That’s a question lingering in my mind. What would a person do in that situation?

How long would you be hungry before willing to dig ditches to put food on your family table? That’s a question I asked my 82-year Dad the other day. I also asked several of my fitness brothers and sisters. My Dad said it would take about two days of hunger before he’d be willing to dig ditches. Thank God he’s in good health, strong and agile enough to do that work if necessary.

A couple fitness brothers and sisters responded they would start digging ditches before their hunger began. That's a response I wasn't expecting. Overall, the average response was two days.

I'm so well fed that it’s incomprehensible of starving for food and I thank God for my blessings, knowing that I could dig ditches to earn money for food if that was the only job available. So the question I asked others is now one I ask myself - how hungry would I have to be before willing to dig ditches?

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

3 comments:

Chip said...

Heck, people pay me to get them to do things similar to digging ditches. Why labor in the gym if ya can't labor in real life. Hand me a shovel... I'm ready!

pierini said...

Hi Chip,

Up their workout and give it a missing perspective - tell them to show up 2 days hungry.

Merry Christmas!

Charles Long said...

I wouldn't have to be hungry. If I lost my job today and I could dig ditches tomorrow, give me the shovel. There's no shame in hard labor.