Taking a break here...It's a busy day, as the crunch before Christmas is arriving. And I'm not too worried as I'm going to mail most of my cards/presents late. I don't think that Christmas ends/begins on the 25th. Besides, I don't get paid till around the 21st and that's a #1 factor in being late with everything. Sigh...

The good news about my current job is I've been taken off of the smoking family members and won't have to be subjected to lung problems the rest of my life. Apparently, this was an issue so, I'm glad the nurse took care of it. I did try to compromise but the client didn't want to even try.

In other news, I was checking out my local papers website, Altoona Mirror, and was glancing at their blogs. It surprised me to see out of 15 writers, 11 were men (one was even doubled up with 2 men!) and only 4 women. The next annoying thing was most of the men were about sports (or their version/ideas about sports). The women have much more interesting blogs (though, a tad hum drum at times): being a mom, about dogs, life of a newborn, & locality. It just seems so unbalanced...only one person talks about local happenings with shows/bands. I don't know...if I were to write a blog and have a spot on the Mirror, I'd write about things that have more of an edge like economy and how it effects us emotionally, financially and time wise. I'd write about how people are struggling with hourly wages that have not kept up with inflation, that to buy a loaf of bread on $6 an hour is nearly 1 quarter of your hourly earnings and let's not even go into how much gas costs $3 & is nearly half of your hourly wage if you're even paid $6 (after taxes). I'm sorry but this is wrong. It is an outrage and people who have to live on this should be protesting this or at least writing to their congress person. Even if somebody is earning more than this, we should all support each other to make everyone have a living wage. We certainly can do at least this.

I love stories and there is a very good one about fishing. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, and he will eat a life time. I really believe that people, given fair wages, live 1000 times better/longer/healthier and are such in return, to the community. Certainly, there will always be examples of "rotten apples" but there is always some in the bunch. I think it's much better to think about the whole, than the few, of a group of people.

I guess you could call this Love thy neighbor, really. It means really, watching out and taking care of your neighbor because in return, they can do the same for you. I remember when we first moved to this house and we had a bar-b-que on our porch. We were enjoying it and for one reason or another, left it unattended. Our neighbor across the street, came over and told us it was smoking and was worried it was going to start a fire. I was so surprised. It amazed me that someone would care and come over to warn us. Usually, most people are too busy and rushing around to notice such things. To this day, I'm grateful there are people watching out for us and I hope I can return the favor.

If we watch out for our neighbors, we must watch out that they are earning fair wages as well. We might not see what's in their pockets/wallets and that is all the more to care. I remember a time when there were stories of elderly eating canned cat food, because that was all they could afford. I don't want that to ever happen again. Or people feeling so desperate they steal food. That is very sad to me...and really it makes me angry we've cut programs where people have to chose between warmth or a meal on the table (I've heard of this too). I've been fortunate to have family near to help us, but there are times when I wonder about those who don't have that.

I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" last night. I hadn't seen it in a few years and to be quite frank, this needs to be put on television again. It has so much relevancy...esp. for myself now that I have a family and a small business. What it's about, interestingly enough, is about both watching out for your neighbor as well as good business practice. Imagine what a world we'd have if more people were like George Bailey. Imagine how much better our products would be and most importantly, our quality of living would be. I sometimes feel we've allowed to many Potter's to take over so many things. We need to stand up to them and say no, here's an alternative, here's a different idea, a different way of doing something without all the negatives. I think this is why "It's a Wonderful Life" is such an honest movie...it talks about concrete ways to make positive changes in people's lives.

Anyway, this is what I'd write about on a blog for the Mirror. I don't know if that would ever come to pass, but I'd like to think someone will write something like this. It surely would catch my attention and many others I'd imagine.


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