That is quite a bold statement and one that would likely stir up much debate on its own, but I am going to do this with a twist. I am going to use the homeless as an example of people making a very hard choice for the good.
Background: I was reading a post on an occupational field that most of us would rather not find ourselves in. The author was clearly biased and talked at length about how bad of a job it was, how dangerous it was, and how tough it was on a person both physically and mentally. I didn’t find their arguments all that compelling and commented on the post and told them why. My basic problem was the author was presenting this occupation as a last resort. That the workers had to do things that were outside their contractual obligations. They had to do it without saying anything or they wouldn’t get paid. These sorts of things – and yes this was a legal occupation in the USA.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have already said that many people would not want to do this job. But to say that these workers didn’t have a choice…well, I just thought that was dehumanizing in a very substantial way. They were not forced to work. They had clear legal recourse if the employer violated the terms of the contract. They had a choice and the ability to choose what we want to do is a very important part of life.
Current Topic: Which brings us to why homelessness is a choice. As I was tossing around the above case in my mind, poking it to see what holes I could make in my own argument, I came to this odd realization. These workers could have chosen not to work, even if they had a family. They could have chosen homelessness. Now, this is where most would stop. We can debate other contributing factors to homelessness, but I would rather skip debate on that point in favor of more dialogue on my next. The homeless choose not to do more wrongs simply to escape.
Think about that for a second. These are people that may not know where their next meal will come from, when it will come, or if they will even make it to the next meal. Just think of the terrible weather in Washington D.C. right now. They may not even have a place to sleep. It’s tragic. (Which on a side note is why I’m very happy with the effort my company, Lands’ End, made this past season with the Big Warm Up). And yet they are still on the street rather than in a job they hate. They are not committing blatant acts of lawlessness so they can be arrested and have a place to stay and food on their plate.
So in a very odd way, I am holding them up as a beacon for people that truly hate their jobs. As I have alluded to in this post, there are many, many other debates that could be had around this topic but I just thought the conclusion that I came to was so peculiar, in a fascinating-thought-experiment sort of way, that I had to share. I suppose I could have used an argument about the days of yore when honor was king, and death before dishonor, and all that. This just seemed more interesting.
What do you think?
This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.