Rights or Privileges

It’s another beautiful humid nightmare of a day in NEFL. Got the cats fed, fixed the ol man some breakfast, sat down to read my favorite blogs before I make a quick commissary run. And up jumps another pet PEEVE!

What is the difference between rights and privileges? Are we living in the most selfish society in the history of Man? It’s beginning to look that way to me.

I believe I read somewhere that most jobs in the U.S. are not ‘production’ jobs anymore. People don’t make things or build things or grow things for their paychecks anymore. “Service” jobs are more common – answer the phone, clean that thing, organize those, and sell yourself while you sell some other thing or service.

So…it’s Sunday morning. And the prevailing attitude among job-holders I know is complaining about working on Sunday. Now, the majority of the jobs I refer to are in air-conditioned buildings, which are driven to in an air-conditioned car from an air-conditioned house or apartment.

When I start feeling put-upon by The World In General, I remind myself of my grandmother’s world. She was a schoolteacher and farm wife in north central Montana. The windy heat of the summer was offset by the windy freeze of the winter, in not-quite-equal measure.

Before Grandpa Carl got the farm, my grandparents were teachers in small towns and country schools out there on the prairie. My mother was born in the basement of a schoolhouse (that’s where the teacher living quarters were) in December, with no doctor – and 30 miles or more from the closest hospital in Malta. Both my grandparents were back to work within hours of that birth, you can bet on that. EVERYONE worked on their birthdays and anniversaries – not to mention Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (when they came along) and Labor Day and even Christmas and Easter and INDEPENDENCE DAY.

They had no indoor plumbing, no water heater, and no electricity until the 50’s. Air was ‘conditioned’ by opening windows. Heat came from burning coal or wood, food was cooked on a coal or wood stove before the power lines were built. Clothes were washed in tubs and hung out to dry – and worn till they could no longer be worn. Farm animals must be fed and cared for every day. More than once. Fences, buildings, and equipment must be repaired and maintained. Hired hands must be fed, along with the family. ON TOP OF ALL THIS, my grandparents had jobs as schoolteachers in town. Where there was also no air conditioning…and the car they drove wasn’t exactly a comfort over those dirt roads, either.

I am continually shocked – though no longer surprised – at the selfish, self-centered, spoiled little OLD children we have produced in this nation. When did we stop teaching the value of real work? WHY did we stop teaching the value of real work? Why do we need a vacation or a day off from the softest living people have ever had to do?

I consider it a blessing and a Gift to be able to work. No, I don’t have to earn a paycheck right now, so my work is in my home – and I am grateful for it in a way that seems rare these days.

I’m going to go have breakfast now, and listen to the rain outside and the golf game inside. Y’all have a fine day, and thanks for stopping by.


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