Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another Epic AE Rant

So there are some general rules when it comes to blogging. Learn them now. And, as I say that, I'm going to break them utterly and without losing any sleep.

The United States recently had a presidential election. I, however, could care less. Because, in all honesty, it's one man. My FB feed has been completely blasted with political posts for a while now, and the aftermath of the ballots rolling in has people unfriending folks left and right. I just want to scream some very loud obscenities right now. No, I wasn't unfriended by anyone (because I'm not a politically involved person).

However, I have a much bigger point. And let's go ahead and bring Hurricane Sandy into the mix. Or maybe we should talk about 9/11 and Katrina, too?

During moments of crisis, I become very proud of my country. We seem to all want to rally together to help. Granted, I hate that it's that we all "text to donate." That's just a way to show what our country is; we all have smartphones and our way of helping involves 30 seconds of composing a text. But, it is still help, and I still am impressed by how people give...

But what about every other time?

No seriously.

Plenty of people have approached me for editing work and get a small package or even just a sample edit. They "love" my work and can attest to how I'm willing to work with them even after they can't afford it. Now, I have my business colleagues who are also self employed, and they tell me I'm crazy. My work is worth something, they tell me. My work is worth a lot actually. I spend a lot of time trying to make sure I understand what the author is aiming for. Practically every edit I do is a substantive. I work for the industry, but truth is, I don't make much money doing it.

I'm the haggler, and I'm the bargain hunter. I'm the price matcher. I don't have time to be a full-on couponer, but if I did, I would.

I saw someone's post today saying that he didn't know if he'd be able to pay his rent. And my first reaction was, "I wonder if he has a Paypal and we could do a small campaign to catch him up?" I know the stress that not having the money to pay bills causes.

So, back to the times of crisis. Most people at any given time are in some sort of crisis. I've been running for so hard and for so long just to make ends meet, but I'm still giving away free edits. There are plenty of good people who could use a leg up. Those are the people who need help. You know, your average everyday Joe who really is doing the best they can.

I give what I can when I can give it, and sometimes even more often than that. With my family, they know that whenever they need something, I will be there to deliver. I can't always guarantee a good mood, but I can guarantee I'll deliver. Namely, right now it's rides to work etc, but sometimes it's food out of my freezer or letting them come over to use my laundry machine.

I'm not in the middle of a hurricane, but that doesn't mean I couldn't use a break (haven't taken a vacation, even a small one, in over 3 years). Or how about that guy I mentioned earlier who doesn't know if he'll make rent?

While I am a bargain hunter, I don't try to haggle with people who are just trying to get by. The big auto chain price-matched the distributor I put in my car and got I $80 off. But, I try to buy locally, and I send every bit of business I can their way.

Here's my theory, everyone is in a crisis.

  1. I don't care if their crisis is worse than mine or menial compared to mine. There is a human being in stress.
  2. I don't care if they brought it on themselves; you live you learn. I'm not error free, and I've made bad choices, too. The idea is not to repeat them. But, getting bailed out of poor decisions you've made helps you realize how wonderful people are.
  3. I don't care if they are hateful people. They are that way for a reason. Something happened to them at some time to make them bitter, which means they've suffered plenty.
  4. I don't care if they have more money than me. Sometimes, this does irk me. But, I do my best to understand their problems anyway.
  5.  I do care if this is something ongoing that they refuse to face. Meaning, they know what the problem is and do nothing to attempt to rectify it. If you're dirty, take a shower. This concept works for the mind, body, and soul. We all backslide, the point is to keep moving forward.
  6. I do care if it's at the expense of someone else. Plain and simple: don't hurt others.
  7. I do care if all they're doing is sitting there with their hands out. Help yourself the best you can.
I give homeless folks money because they are usually sitting out in the heat or cold. I give street musicians money because they are working hard, and I almost always enjoy their music. Sometimes it's only fifty cents. Most of the time, fifty cents is all I have. Seriously. But, what if out of the 500 people that passed him by 100 of them gave him fifty cents? He'd have fifty bucks.

Or, if I hook you up with an edit, how about putting $5 in my Donate section? Or even asking for my Paypal email so they don't get a "cut" for giving me the button. Maybe that $5 would go to me treating myself to a Starbucks, which is quite uplifting for my spirits. One time I was donated $6, and that went into my gas tank. You never know. But, those donations made a huge difference to me, not just financially but to my mood and stress levels.

When I see Americans rallying around a crisis, I wonder how often those same people look or even see the crises that are happening everyday all around them?

I watch those video ads on small blogs because some of them get paid only when someone has watched the entire video. Chances are I'm not actually watching the whole video, but if it's playing on my computer the ad agency paying them doesn't know the difference. Sometimes, I just click on their ads.

Here's the deal, you help others get a leg up, chances are later on down the road, they will be in a better position to give someone else a leg up.

Isn't it Gandhi who said be the change you wish to see in the world? Why is everyone so concerned about the change of one man? (Do not in any way try to argue the merits or downfalls of the 2012 Presidential candidates, that's not the point. Your comment will be deleted if you do.)

Don't wait for the next disaster to happen to help, get plugged in to those around you, or do something nice. Sometimes a few cents goes a long, long way. I should know.

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