Saturday, January 9, 2016
Easy On The Marshmallow Salad
Listening to the radio a couple weeks back, Tyler Maclean was interviewing Joan Jessome about bill 148. 75,000 public workers in NS lost their arbitration rights. Their wages were frozen for three years. Rick Howe said he could understand that ordinary people might not have a lot of sympathy for teachers, doctors and other public workers. After all, most people have so little in this province. Why should they feel sorry for those with good paying jobs with benefits and pensions? That's when it all clicked into place. I raised my hand to speak, "I know, I know", but nobody called on me. I was forced to talk to the hats again.
This is what I told them. "You know, Hats, I don't have a pension or any additional medical insurance. Last year I spent $3000 on root canals. Apparently, I am clenching my teeth and systematically cracking them.
( I wonder why?) I have never in my life had a paid vacation. We live day to day, and you know what? I want teachers and nurses and doctors and bus drivers to be well paid and to have decent pensions. If they are paid well and have security they will buy my hats or my husband's furniture and local coffee and local booze and eat at local restaurants.
Hats, I can't bring myself up by bringing my neighbour down. It just does not work that way."
Then a couple of days ago, my friend told me a story about her friends that moved to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick only to move back to New Brunswick. They were at a a community potluck and the guy standing behind them said, "Now don't take too much food."
"Excuse me?", he replied.
"Well look at the size of you. If you took all you wanted there'd be none left for the rest of us."
There you have it. We can blame government for lousy decisions, but we really have ourselves and our own attitudes to blame. When we learn, collectively, that the more we give, the more we have and that only by lifting up our neighbour will we lift ourselves up, will we see our province prosper and thrive. That's the way it works. Austerity has never worked and it never will.
So, have another serving of that marshmallow salad. You're a growing province; you're going to need it.