A visit by a neighbour to see D this morning had me shaking my head in dismay. These are tough times and according to the experts, going to become even tougher, so when I heard the neighbour bitching and moaning about ‘his lot’ I became so vexed that I had to leave the room.
To put things into perspective I will furnish you with a brief background of the neighbour.He is 65, works in construction(heavily unionised), had an annual income in excess of 100K PLUS allowances, etc, he owns his principal residence and also a substantial house at the beach. On top of that, his wife is paid a carer’s pension from the Government for supposedly caring for her mother (who does not live with them but next door in her own home, independently)which entitles the neighbour and his wife to large concessions for utilities, car registration,travel, free healthcare/medication and recently a Government pre-Christmas bonus of $1,400( tax free). He works most week ends for cash in hand, supplementing his income by some 25% (his estimation) and has the longest pockets and the shortest arms of anyone I have met!
This morning he stood in my kitchen, shooting his mouth off about how badly done by he is and how the union with which he is affiliated should go all out for the 30% increase in wages they are seeking. He could not see why they should hold back on their demands to preserve the employment of others or for that matter did he care.
Through my work, I see disenfranchised individuals and families struggling to put food on the table, some on welfare support, others managing on the basic wage and no more. Others have mental and physical illnesses, homeless, roaming the streets , seeking somewhere safe to douse down for the night, with no idea where their next meal is coming from.More often than not, these are the people who appreciate what little they have. They know times are tough but seldom does one hear anything resembling the disgraceful outburst of the neighbour today. All I could say to him was – wake up and smell the roses!!!
You may think I am being judgmental and I am but I see the community as it is , in its rawest form daily and it is the attitiude of the neighbour and those who are likeminded ,that will ensure the gap remains as wide as ever between the haves and the have nots 😦