Today I was reading the news online (I usually hate the news since it tends to depict a pretty depressing state of affairs in the world), and it did it again. Why do I even bother?
So I see there have been these protests by Wal-Mart employees during Black Friday, America’s big day for consumerism, which apparently determines the quality of the economy. Yes, buying cheap plastic toys from a multinational who gets people in China to manufacture them, can determine if YOUR economy is good. Go figure.
Anyways, these employees were protesting because they make something like <$9 per hour, and don’t get benefits and stuff like that. Sorry I didn’t read the fine print. Now, let’s see here – we have a multi-billion dollar company that has a bigger GDP than many countries in the world and it’s cheaping out on its employees. Sounds like the norm. Why do I want to talk about it?
What I really want to talk about is actually the comment section on the website I was reading the article from.
People were saying things like this:
“What, some guy has 4 kids and only makes $9/hour? He’s to blame for poor life choices. Why should Wal-Mart have to pay him more? It’s an unskilled job that requires no education. Go back to school and get a real job. Why did he have 4 kids in the first place? Ever heard of birth control?”
You know, some insensitive stuff like that.
When reading it, I got pretty sad at the lack of compassion in people. Let’s truly think about it: you have some guy who had 4 kids. He’s working and trying to take care of them. He probably doesn’t have an education, never had financial literacy training (except from the news where you should get credit cards and spend, spend, spend!), and probably doesn’t have many skills. You also have many of the Wal-Mart staff who are immigrants or who have other barriers facing them to getting into better jobs. There are serious barriers facing some people and the only job they can get is at Wal-Mart.
Where’s our compassion? I can only imagine this poor guy trying to scrape pennies together to make rent, buy food, put his kids through school, and other bills. What kind of apartment does he live in, cause he certainly doesn’t own a home. Can he buy his kids presents for Christmas? What about the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness in his heart? Could you imagine working at Wal-Mart for less than $9 an hour? It being the only job you can find? I’ve complained about making more than double that at times! And I don’t have kids.
And people go on and on about how it’s the guy’s fault for poor life decisions, etc. Sure, he could have done better. But we all mess up, don’t we? I know I’ve sure enjoyed a second, third, fourth, and more chances to try again.
After seeing how we treat each other, are we surprised we live in a world with so much pain and suffering? Look how easy it is for people to look the other way when people are in need. Look how easy it is to blame the victim. Look how easy it is to pick on the weak guy. Where are we to help them up?
The world won’t get any better if we don’t start treating each other with respect. Let’s change things up a little. Let’s treat each other like brothers and sisters. Compassion is key. The more compassion you have for others, the more you can sympathize with them, the better this world will get. Little by little, let’s make things a bit better. And the more you help people, I guarantee the better you’ll feel about yourself. The Dalai Lama said, “The most selfish thing people can do is be selfless.” He’s referring to the great feeling people get from helping others. It’s rewarding for you and the world.
Let’s give it a try. Be compassionate. Be sympathetic. Be friendly Be helpful. Be selfless. Bring a little more love into this world.
Wal-Mart goes on to say they’ve earned record profits this Black Friday. Poor guy probably got fired for protesting the next day.