If Debt Forgiveness Has Got Your Goat, Remember Who the Real Enemy Is

It's natural to feel a bit ripped off if you've worked hard and sacrificed for something that just gets handed out the next minute for free.

But remember: the enemy is not the "handout", it's the capitalism, complacency, scarcity, and greed that kept your sweet hands handout-free in the first place.

When I was an apprentice at a theatre company, I got paid a measly $600/month stipend. Two years later (when I was on staff), the apprentice stipend got increased to $1,000/month, just because someone who they really wanted asked for an increase.

I felt two things: happy for the new apprentices who would make closer to a decent amount of money and also upset that I'd had to live off much less and now it was going to increase to what was practically a lavish wage to me at the time. (Oh what teensy tiny expectations I had.)

What really got me wasn't the fact that the increase was happening, it was how easily the wage changed and the knowledge that I had not been valued in the same way.

Because that's all it takes to increase a wage or forgive a debt: a decision. A little bit of will. One person to value the work or life of another.

The problem isn't that someone eventually might make that decision, the problem is that a bunch of people spent so long maintaining the opposite decision--the one that kept you in debt or at an inhumanly low wage.

So feel your rage, if you've got it, just send it in the right direction.

An animated gif from The Hunger Games - a man stands in a jungle at night calling back towards the camera, "remember who the enemy is"
Kate Tumblr

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1 comment:

  1. I had this experience when I left a job I'd been doing for a long time and the person who replaced me had a starting salary higher than what I was receiving when I left. Undervalued is exactly how I felt.