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.

Colleen 2014/08/20 10:38:44 PM
Author Very enjoyable to read your stream of consciousness writing style. Many people will relate to your experiences, especially the negative experiences with people who present themselves as adherents of one religion or other. In dealing with most of them, it soon becomes apparent that the sole purpose of their christianity is to service their own personal enhancement first, foremost and last. A nice read!
Fired up 2014/08/21 01:17:17 AM
Godless, Having read your story I wish you the best of everything for the future. Keep on persevering. At least your grandparents gave you good advice. One thing though,your bitterness does shine through, poor circumstances either make one bitter or better. Strive for the latter.
Enig Ma 2014/08/21 05:57:39 AM
Great read. Like me, you do not worship, and do not need a god to guide you. But, with much respect, you do seem exceptionally concious and perhaps overly bitter about this. I think you should relax a bit, as you seem very intense. I think you are a great example to many. Good luck mate! I honour people like you.
Uys Fick 2014/08/21 07:05:24 AM
Well spoken, Godless. I can totally relate with you. Barely scraped through high school, but made a success of my business because my desire for knowledge is unquenchable. I cannot recommend more that people should read as much as possible and now with Internet, everybody else's knowledge is available at your fingertips. All you need is the desire to know things. Employees come and go, but I never had one who would take up my offer of free training and the free use of my workshop and other facilities after hours for their own education. They will not come, simply because they want to be paid for extra time in the factory. They do not realize that there will be a better salary for more skills, or that more items that can be added to a CV, will ensure higher paid jobs. And lastly, the most wonderful thing that knowledge and reading helped me with, was to shake off the chains of religious brainwashing. I enjoy your articles, let them come!
Tyronehster 2014/08/21 08:02:53 AM
The worst of all is, especially on the East and West Rand, the number of people being fleeced by Christian businessmen. And always the poorest of the poor. I may be, and am, a Christian, and proud of it, but my clients only ever find out once they've known me for a while, if at all. I've been in the position you're in as well, and there was no-one to dig us out of the hole. I once met a guy who'd lived and worked in New York, and I asked him what the job situation was like. His reply? 'For people like you and me, there's always work.' I don't require a salary to work; I work on pure commission. Before that I worked for myself, for a fee, and before that I worked as a printer for a weekly wage. And I got a house given to me by the Government, and I got everything handed to me free, you know how it went. Nevertheless, kudos to you for not giving up. I think it was Gary Player who said,'It doesn't matter how many times you fall; only how many times you get up.'
Benno Milinda Kohler 2014/08/21 08:50:20 AM
Somehow your experiences are not too dissimilar to mine ........well written
John Greystoke 2014/08/21 09:07:21 AM
This cigarette thing made me want to comment! One often see people(whites!)begging at robots with a cigarette between the fingers. If they have money for smokes then they have money for food?
No Ohno 2014/08/21 09:15:26 AM
Again, wonderful read Heathen. You have a great way with words, me wanting to read more. You must write novels. But coming back to your life, I can see you had some serious hardship and trauma and pain in your past, for sure. It is also clear you are very bitter and angry at the world. I have found that in this life, bitterness and hate, will consume you most. While you might think it makes your life better, I think it actually kills you slowly from inside. I am just failing to understand why it is that you hate God. Was he responsible for your misery, or did you expect something from Him that he did not give to you. I am sure you can blame a lot of people, and maybe yourself for your miseries, but God is not the one to blame. Look at it another way, you maybe did better than you would have, because God was there.