“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— Buckminster Fuller

Why are we asking for jobs?

Most jobs are a lopsided trade agreement
where we relinquish the majority of our waking hours,
and our labor and talent
to make someone else
wealthy – wealthier!
in exchange for just enough money to survive.
Sometimes it’s not even enough
…used to be.

What we all really want
and need
is a means of living
that makes being alive meaningful.

But instead
we have been conditioned to THINK
what we need
is a JOB!

And our whole sense of self-worth,
depends on having this job.
We tell people begging on the street,
“Get a job!”
But people born into money,
they don’t feel compelled to get jobs.
They might,
if they get bored.

Working people,
must WORK for money,
as opposed to wealthy people,
whose money works for them.

Used to be,
if we were eager to get started in life
we could jump right into a job
straight out of high school.
And for that enthusiasm
we would be condemned
to work very hard, for very little,
for the rest of our friggin’ working lives.

Instead we were advised to get a good education
so we could have a successful career.
Our reward for listening carefully to what we were taught
and repeating it verbatim when tested
would be a JOB
where we could use our brains
to make other people rich
and earn a bit more money
than the folks who labored for their pay.

But the cost of that ticket out of the labor class,
known as a diploma,
keeps getting higher,
while jobs for students to work their way through college
have been gobbled up
by people with degrees
who can’t find the kind of jobs
they thought they’d get,
by going to college
and people who thought they’d get by
by the sweat of their labor
are standing in line at Fr. Joe’s
listening to someone tell them to

And students are borrowing money at usury rates
with no chance of foreignness,
no matter what.
So straight out of college
they have to find a job,
ANY job,
so they don’t ruin their credit score
which would destroy their chance of getting a mortgage
or a car loan
or even a credit card.

And we don’t call this servitude?

But it gets worse
because now
even those with all kinds of fancy initials after their names
can’t find a job.

And so the cycle downward continues,
like the whoosh of a million toilets
flushing the dream,
that wasn’t really a dream at all.

But wait,
Stop the toilets!
What if WE changed the rules,
and instead of being obliged to get a job,
everyone had a RIGHT to a livelihood!

What if WE changed the rules,
and instead of being obliged to get a job
everyone had a RIGHT to a livelihood!
What if instead of working folks paying taxes
and interest
and student loans…
what if instead we could invest in local ventures
on level playing fields
where we could do what we love
in exchange for what we need?
What if some of us grew the food,
and some baked and cooked,
and some saved and packaged seed?
What if some of us built eco-homes
so everyone had a place to live,
and some of us sewed quilts and clothes,
and re-soled shoes,
and made furniture…
What if some of us fixed things,
and some of us painted and sculpted,
and played music and danced…
What if some of us took care of the children,
while others installed solar panels on every rooftop,
and generated all of the electricity we need
to power the trolleys and buses
for everyone
for free…
And what if some of us repaired the bike lanes and the bicycles,
and wrote computer programs that actually made our lives better,
and taught our children,
and nursed and doctored the sick,
and researched for ways to heal our planet…
and what if
we didn’t call it a JOB.
And what if we all did this for one another,
for the joy of it
and not to make some foreign investors a profit,
by changing just one word:

Because a job is something you get
by begging someone else to give to you.
But a living is something you make for yourself!
This is just a gentle suggestion,
as we come to terms with the futility
of asking those in power to give us anything
just so we can survive.
Working together,
we can stop begging,
and just begin to make our own
lively hoods.