CHRISTMAS AND UNEMPLOYMENT
Looking back, I wish to share a piece of personal sentiment. I have been a part of the labor force for the last 40 years and during that time there were programmed instances when we in the working class are instinctively lured towards a routine. Receiving a monthly salary is one, getting across-the-board allowances is another. As if it is not enough, there are incentives like being sent abroad for conferences or training, this on top of liberal stipend and refundable expenditures. There are also benefits like housing, scholarship and related awards and grants. The privileges are awe inspiring.
At every turn, there is something for the worker. There is the bi-annual release of the traditional windfall. There is also the the 13th month pay, cash gift ,performance bonus and the semestral adjustment of pay scale and the regular issuance of loyalty grant. One can even Monetize leave credits so that it could translate into additional moolah if loans and related credits are not enough.
Working indeed is an active procedure that makes one accomplished, proficient and yes, responsive to any economic challenge. As a worker gains seniority in his organization, he becomes influential, thoroughly connected and to a certain extent dominant. He becomes liquid and could sustain anything he would fancy.
If he is potent, active, dynamic and socially conscious, he may even receive his 15 minute fame. For a while, he may also be a celebrity in the neighborhood but once bashed, he may end up as notorious as your friendly thug in the street corner.
In the course of his status in the labor force, he gains additional friends, adherents, admirers even indulgent relatives from distant provinces besides inviting intrigues that foment opponents and a number of envious foes. Nonetheless, at the end of the year, during Yuletide season, all of those in the labor force virtually are on the splurge mode. They all have the wherewithal to deal with the prolonged Holidays.
But once the person retires, all these become memories. He is a shade similar to the vagabond, or to a vagrant, drifter, beggar, wanderer, except that he has the composure to stay put in one direction with savings on one hand and happy memoirs on the other.
In my case, while before I could easily rub elbows and identify with the working class, the labor force, that group where the leisure class evolved from, I have entered and conscripted into the army of unemployed in less a dramatic way. I am qualified to bow out from the service even if technically speaking what has been filed is an early retirement plan. That means that I am not yet subject for compulsory retirement but chose to leave the labor force voluntarily through options available.
It’s a decision and there is no turning back. I enjoyed reminiscing those days of sharing and aplenty.
But don’t get me wrong. Even if I will be dangled with offers, offers for employment/ reinstatement or even capital for business, I would still prefer giving up work. Not that there is glory in unemployment, but there is wisdom in retirement. Let the youth takes over, let those in their senior years receive their moments of contemplation. After all, their needs are no longer as sophisticated and complicated like that of the younger set.
The senior citizen can survive only through fruits. Medications are merely invention of pharmaceutical companies at times in conspiracy with hospitals so that their products can be dispensed through the ailing senior citizen. Not only takers will suffer additional ailments for additional medication but it would merely complicate what could have been a simple lifestyle of those in their twilight years.
Anyway, we probably could remember Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol” where protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge, a senior citizen too, figured prominently in the story. Well, Scrooge tried to screw Christmas until in the end he was screwed.
The elderlies are one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society. They suspect that the Almighty created them so that the field of Medicine or the pharmaceutical companies will have something to sustain them. They may be exploited like anyone younger but once he contracts Alzheimer or Parkinson (whichever comes first), they won’t mind being subjected to anything else.
This is my first Christmas in four decades when Yuletide no longer spells expenditures. Since I belong now to a static world where careers are irrelevant, it goes without saying that there is nothing to splurge anymore except thoughts of years of extravagance gone by. And I swear, it is worth remembering.