As I ponder how I will make whatever money I earn stretch in these dire economic times, it can’t be denied that this is on the mind of most Jamaicans especially considering the large amount of them under the poverty line, me in included.
Now let’s be real some people are in worse situations than me, these conditions I have witnessed and so when I don’t eat for a while or if push comes to shove, don’t eat a day or two, I take it in stride with a smile (I’m cursing every conceivable expletive in my mind during, but hey I’m human).
Cash is a very important thing to seek for the continued welfare of yourself and your dependents whether they are children, the unemployed partner, family or the parents. This fact gives money a relevance that is infamously abused unknowingly as the person is induced to certain behavior in striving to get it and keep it.
The methods vary from the basic forms of getting money range from starting a money-making entity such as a business, borrowing taking on a credit or loan, working, peddling wares and lastly begging. Right now the first two are out of most people’s scope of achievement.
Starting a business is an investment not a “make a bag of money quick” scheme. Loans need a mixture of some or all of these: references from people in the high echelons of society who may not know you and would rather not tarnish their reputation by recommending you for a loan of all things, collateral, guarantor (aka the unfortunate fool), a job letter, and copies of your pay slip, so you have to be employed. This is all to get a large enough loan (if you’re lucky) at an interest rate of 20% to 60%, no sir!
The last two are easier for the less fortunate but not as stable. Selling a few wares and food on the road and begging isn’t doing much cause at the end of the day it is hard for a lot of people to take out a $50 at least for most things worse if there is no benefit, so it is harder for the beggars indeed.
Working seems to be the most stable and reasonable option for people but with some countries dealing with large populations, not enough businesses and not enough of them hiring. You would find people robustly looking for work; if you look at it in poetically it might look almost like an arena blood fest to appease Julius Czar (the employer).
As author Richard Nelson Bolles said in his best-selling book, What color is your parachute? in reference to America’s job hunting system “the job-hunting system in this country is no system at all. It is in fact Neanderthal”. Naturally as external situations and times get worse, people have a sense of urgency and alarm. This combined with the necessity of money might make people in general consider other options that weren’t on the table before for one reason or another.
The usual reasons can encompass the venture being too risky, too much work, unethical, you don’t like it etc. So it begs to question if certain unsavory behavior as it regards getting money might be excusable since some may run out of options, or at least seem to. But for now let’s assume there are no other options and the sole reason is because they have mouths to feed then the idea a person would steal for that sole reason might draw pity for him. How about a person going into prostitution or even worse already having money but instead of living up to your duties to the mouth that needs feeding, you invest it badly and lose it all.
Personally I’m not a lawful person by nature; in actuality I’m more chaotic. But I see the need for law, while still expressing the person that is me. When I rationalize people’s actions In the name of comfort from the cruel world of poverty, I can’t help but understand their plight whether it be an innocent as parents toil or as unethical as greed. But just because I understand doesn’t exonerate what a person has done might be illegal.
Law reminds us for every action there is a consequence, I stand by the belief that anyone that breaks the law literally has the duty to go to jail. I won’t put them there myself mind you, as I could care less. You toke the medicine so you know the risk and the symptoms. I saw a lot of things around me in my home of Jamaica people stealing cable, electricity, selling expired goods at really low prices .
All to earn money or keep money, but I know what some of them go though, It depends on person to person, whether you know them or not. That being said it is, we reap what we sow, many people don’t realize the many options they have at their disposal.
I won’t really go into much detail of what methods but think of it this way lets say I give my child (doing average in school) a tablet because I think he can use it for school and will probably get super advantage over other students with access to all those apps and internet!! This coupled with his Android Smart Phone and Alienware Laptop he’ll become a world leader!
Then you would have the kid whose parents can’t afford to order take out much less buy a tablet, he has books but that’s it, no laptop, no cheap phone (not even a camera) or expensive technology. He does have a calculator, scientific one at that. Amazingly enough he gets A’s, part of the chess club, goes to the library now and then, when he borrows a computer he’s reading something.
Ponder it in your head for a while which one will excel over the other by adulthood my son or the boy who can’t afford much. It doesn’t take much to realize that it’s you are the one that makes your future, the situation doesn’t make you. It is the people who can manipulate their situations and excel over their hardships that stand on top of the world, even the dirty schemers are using this logic but they are a different post for another time.
I can only hope as time passes wherever we reside things get better and people can find better more honorable solutions to their problems. But history is a sad tale that recycles and most people believe that the only way out is what law prohibits.