I See a Red Box
'The man stands before you.There is about him an air of undeniable presence, authority, tempered slightly, by what appears to be an underlying vein of genuine concern for you.he holds in his outstretched right hand, resting upon the palm, a small red box. He smiles, and speaks, directing you to look upon the object he holds before your eyes.
You focus on the object. You observe it is a small red box. You know this to be true, for you have seen many such during your lifetime. The man speaks again, in a smooth, even toned voice, touched with what sounds very much to you like compassion.
He states that he realizes you may not have quite the experience nor the intelligence he himself possesses, as he is a highly educated expert, and therefore, to aid you, he shall determine and identify the object resting upon his palm. He then states that he is holding a small yellow ball.You are, to say the least, a bit disconcerted, though you make no outward show of your feeling. For you are quite aware, completely certain, and gut-sure, he is holding a red box.'.This morning I read another article telling me, again, the quality of life today is far better than it has ever been, for we Americans.
I've read a number of such articles, and have heard from numerous experts, all endeavoring to convince me of this statement. A hard sell, especially since valid proof of the contrary is evident, to any individual yet capable of rational, independent thought.Today my adult daughters do not own a life better than what I knew, at their age. Their families' quality of life is well below that of the past generation.
If you doubt my statement, ask any thirty-something couple, both of whom are employed full-time, endeavoring to raise a family. Ask any full-time employed, college graduate, who yet lives with his parents, not by choice, but because he can't afford the low-by-average $1,5000.00 a month rent in his area. Ask the holder of a hard-earned masters degree, who finds himself turned down for positions due to his over-qualifications, and from sheer need, settles for something far below his capabilities, and insulting to his acquired education.
Ask the homebuyer, who has just paid a quarter of a million dollars for what amounts to a three-bedroom tract house. Ask anyone who constantly hears they should be socking away money, making considered investments, for their future, while barely managing to make their monthly expenses.The recent implementation of an increase for minimum credit card payments now in effect, is not indicative of a spoiled, materialistic, irresponsible, free spending American public.
It is the undeniable proof that without the ability to charge-it, many of our citizens would find themselves sans the means to acquire the basic needs beyond those of feeding, clothing, and sheltering themselves, at the minimum level.I hear from the so-called experts, we now enjoy more leisure time than ever before, yet, I know of no one who works a nine to five position. It's not unusual for people to drag home from work with less than an hour or two remaining of so-called leisure time, before they must allow themselves recuperation in the form of a few hours sleep.
I know but a handful of people who enjoy full weekends of off time. Most work six days a week. Many hold weekend jobs, as well.
Fewer people today enjoy the luxury of even a few days of vacation, spent traveling. Families, who in the past, may have enjoyed motoring to some pleasant destination, now leave their gas-guzzlers parked in garages.The number one leisure activity in this country is huddling before the television, where one is treated to a constant flow of insidious advertising, interrupted by sparse segments of borderline educational, and nominal entertainment, programming. A venue for the presentation of a steady stream of buy-to-feel-you-exist-and-thus-give-quality-to-your-life products and services, available to we fortunate Americans.
A venue of goodies offered, proposed proof of the existence of the good life we hear about, the one we're told most of us live. The life of accumulating, amassing, spending. This venue aids in beating home the false impression that the majority is out there grabbing it all, which equals enjoying a better quality of life.A recent foreign visitor, a first-timer, stated when asked his impression of this country, 'It's just like in the movies!' Oh, no, my friend! No, no. I fear you have been sold nothing more than the illusion so vigorously marketed, of average life in America.
Had you more time here, I would introduce you to the realities. It would be a simple matter of meeting members of this country's rapidly diminishing middle-class.'The man gently repeats, numerous times, that he is holding a yellow ball. He states that all the experts have agreed, he is holding a yellow ball. There is nothing in his demeanor that intimates aggression, nothing approaching intimidation. Rather, his statement that he is holding a yellow ball, is made in an attitude of affirmed, confirmed, glorious fact.
It appears, that he merely desires you accept what he's saying, realize the truth of his words, regardless of what your mind, your own sense tells you, for your own good, for his, why, for everyone's good. The man then asks you, 'What am I holding in my hand?'..
Jeannine Schenewerk is a freelance writer residing in Atlanta, Georgia.http://www.intouchwithjeannine.com.
By: Jeannine Schenewerk
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