Dead Beat Dad and Poverty continued.
So on Tuesday I published the article and was unable to respond personally, Some of us have to work for a living. A couple of things came up that I want to respond to.
First my tale was not a comparison of how bad it was for others, some had it better some had it worse. I acknowledged that living in a mud hut or a tin shack would be much much worse. The fact is that some would have considered my childhood charmed. I went to bed with a full belly most nights, I had access to clean water, went to school and had the opportunity to go all the way some would say.
Here is the thing, school fees cost money and that money meant that other things were not attainable, you know school uniforms that needed replacement but were worn till the collars were shapeless, socks darned till there was more darn than sock, school shoes with cardboard insoles. Poverty is comparative and will always be. Some are wealthy by others standards and downright destitute by others.
I hear people talk about being broke often, These folks drive nice cars, have their ciggies and their beers, but broke means they cannot go to a movie. I have also noticed a strange phenomena, no one is ever too broke to buy cigarettes. I remember as a kid when Mom was too broke to buy some Wilsons toffees, She could always scrounge together the coinage for her smokes. Anyway, losing the plot here, let's move on.
I left school not because the school fees wouldn't get paid, Mom was most earnest about making sure we went to school, but she figured Standard 8 was good enough to get a job, She never argued when I decided that I was going to leave school. This meant one less set of school fees, uniforms, haircuts and so on to pay for, She was probably relieved that I was contributing to the fiscus. Was my school better than Bantu education? I don't know, I never finished high school. I didn't get a matric exemption or a higher education.
I did however have one major advantage, I was taught a love of reading and books. My grandparents told me over and over, the one thing no one can take from you is knowledge. This is my one great saving, I love reading, I love knowledge. I worked as a contractor in IT from information I learned from books, I taught myself how to code, reading books and making stuff work. My education is wide and varied for I read. Last week I read three books between watching TV, doing my job and all my tasks. I learned much from one of those books. It's astounding what knowledge is out there if you just open a book.
One of the commentators said, You were never forcibly moved or lost all your goods because of the government. Strangely I know how that must feel because I have lived through a number of evictions in my life. The first time I was a young kid sitting on the pavement with a mountain of stuff around me. The last time there wasn't enough left to fill a bakkie. It may not have been the Government but the end result is the same. The Sheriff is a nice bloke doing a really crappy job in my experience.
Another way I have lost my stuff is by people breaking in to my home and taking the stuff, this is also known as redistribution of wealth. In my first business I spent more replacing tools that got stolen than the profit I made some months. I once employed a fellow that claimed he needed a job, His kid was sick yadda yadda, He worked hard for 3 days, the 4th day he arrived late. I had to rush out to get some materials. Upon my return I had no tools. Have you ever tried to deliver goods that needed making without tools and no way of replacing those tools in the time you had. I did.
You want to cry about your past, do it, but don't claim I had more, did less and was privileged. I have lost it all more than once, and the thing I learned about Insurance companies is that they are scum, They will add insult to the injury. You pay your premiums, and when the stuff gets stolen, they will add to your woes.
I remember paying for a motorbike I no longer had in my possession, because the Insurance company paid out less than I owed. I remember having to find more than half the cost of a computer because the insurance company only paid out 1/3 of it's value.
You may have had it hard but so did many others. Some of us pick ourselves up off the ground and fight another day. Sometimes it seems like giving up would be a real option, but the alternative is worse.
The thing that bothers me most about the world we live in is that there are some that think it is OK to take that for which they have not worked. They think it's OK to steal the little someone else may have and many do it with the cloak of respectability which is religion. The people that have injured me the most, The bosses that did not pay my salary, the customer that did not pay their debts, Those are the ones that seemed the most pious, Their religion being flaunted as a sign of their “goodness”.
Every advantage I have, Every advantage I will gain will be because of my sweat, my blood and tears, and I will not share the glory of that with a God that does not stand there helping me do the work.