The Gypsy’s Muse gently repositioned my head to consider all the hidden survival talents people discover and develop when they suddenly fall through the economic cracks in this society. It is simply a sinful waste of brain power and precious energy to spend too much time weeping over a lost job, but blessed are the survivors! One has to have that wealth of pluck, mental toughness, killer instinct and plain old everyday chutzpah to make it through this dark “Tunnel of Lack”.
Who ever knew hard times could create a couponing queen? All the lady knew is that somehow there must be a way to stretch limited finances. Who ever fathomed being a free clothing fashionista? I know for sure that armed with a deep knowledge of how to recognize quality when you see it that it is unquestionably possible to build a banging wardrobe with other folk’s “outgrown” garments. You rock, Second-Hand Rose!
Unfortunately, programs targeted to allegedly help people in dire circumstances sometimes harm more than help by working against creative solutions and punishing people for using their talents. For example, the current unemployment system so wants to make sure people are not abusing the system that it forces clients to report contacting at least 2 potential employers per specific period. We all know the “apply and wait” method stinks, but we are forced to do it to keep the pittance of support coming in while we conduct a “real search”. Now, we know that finding the right people to contact–people with the power and authority to hire–is a lot like an archeological dig. Unearthing these hiring managers takes time–time the unemployment system will not give, so what happens? We fall into “looking like we’re really searching” to satisfy the requirements of the “helping” program by applying to jobs through websites. It does not matter whether the client is fully qualified for the particular job or not. This game move actually keeps people unemployed longer.
Demonstrated in the “Hoovervilles” of old and the “Occupy Wall Street” tent cities of recent days, creative people display an uncanny ability to use their talents to piece together whole survival systems constructed of little more than prayer and duct tape. However, there is a sting in the tail of the beast. The present helping system makes us work against ourselves. It’s the “crouching tiger” in the bush, threatening to eat up all the product of our newly discovered hidden talent.