This is pretty much my mood today.
Does this mean I am advocating for violent overthrow of the U.S. government? Absolutely not.
For one thing, I’m about 30 years too old to think violent revolution sounds like fun. For another, who is doing the violence?
The forces that would like to keep this country enslaved to the idea of white supremacy are far better armed than those of us who’d like to have a society that benefits all. I find their lack of faith in a system that was designed by people like them for people like them fascinating.
One of those indicators of Americans’ lack of skill with systems thinking is our inability to grasp the concept of “enough.”
How much is enough?
I make a rude amount of money for someone who grew up in a pink-collar household where we did the switching the checks in the bills envelopes on a regular enough basis for me to notice as a child.
I make enough, in fact, that because my wants and needs more oriented to my upbringing than to something you’d see on MTV’s Cribs that when I want a book I don’t really have to worry about what it costs. Yeah, the cable bill stings but in my situation the alternatives aren’t any cheaper so I grimace and pay it every month.
Grasp the fact for a minute that I have enough to be thinking in terms of what my totally-optional-to-survival-entertainment costs me every month instead of worrying about balancing paying the rent against buying food or hoping that I can cure that cough with off-brand cough medicine I bought at the dollar store so I can avoid the hospital bills associated with COVID treatments.
Do I want more? Absolutely. I would love to have enough cash that instead of putting on outside clothes and sitting down for my job later this morning I could work on my fiction, actually for once get some exercise, and mop my mother’s floors, which I haven’t done since August because I work about 60 hours a week.
I’d love to be stupid rich. The kind of rich that doesn’t have to think about the bills because you never see them. You have someone handle that for you.
The kind of rich that has the chauffeured car drop them off at General Aviation at DCA instead of taking the hit on Daily Parking and hoping there are some spaces on the second level near the B terminal.
Of course I want to be that rich. Anyone who says they don’t probably also lies about masturbating.
Abraham Maslow created his hierarchy of needs in 1954. I met this idea about 40 years later in psychology class in college.
If you look at American society objectively, we act as if we are all functioning in the bottom two layers. We act as if we have the trauma of never having enough safety, that our physiological needs go unmet on a regular basis.
For some people in our society this is true. To see that, though, to compare your situation with someone else’s and realize what you have meets your needs and then some, you have to be functioning up at the top of the pyramid.
No one ever gets to the top of the pyramid fully. No one.
Sure, rich people have their physiological needs and safety needs largely met. Money buys a lot of things after all. That love & belonging layer and that esteem layer, those are always problematic. For everyone.
Until we stop thinking about enough as the top of all of these layers and start looking at these needs as slices, we’ll never be able to see that people who don’t look like us and don’t think like us deserve to have their slices just the same as us.
We still don’t have a declared winner for President. Notice I said “declared” because the place the winner will be decided is in the courts.
I still have faith in the system. To a certain extent, it was designed for me.