Meet Me in the Middle?

Looking around at the world it is all but impossible to maintain any sense of optimism for our future. On every news channel and social media platform, even here on Working Stiff USA, constant reminders of the current state of the world are unrelenting. It is important to remember though that even in the very worst of times there will still be children laughing somewhere, the sun will still rise in the morning, and people will go on living their lives to the best of their ability. To despair and surrender to the circumstances is tempting, to bury our head in the barrage of heart-breaking headlines and wallow in our existential dread is for most of us the natural default.

However, in times like these it is incredibly important to remember that historically it is not until the good people within a hurting population pull themselves out of that despair and take action that anything will change. Unity between the American people is not completely out of reach, the American dream realized for everyone is still something worth fighting for. Our country can still be pulled back from the brink of impending fracture, but only if we each stand up and do what we can.

For some that might mean continuing online activism and coordinating digitally, for others however that has to mean taking real concrete action within your communities. Help your neighbor, speak kind words to the people you are certain you fundamentally disagree with, donate food and clothes, and time to the rapidly filling homeless shelters in your towns. The opportunities to build legitimate trust and brotherhood within your communities are endless if you actively look for them. Indeed, real change can be made through dedicated and consistent action but only if there is someone willing to be the first to stand up and say enough is enough.

No more fighting. No more prejudice. It is far past the time that we looked at our fellow Americans and, instead of taking a defensive stance, asked “how can I be of service?” If each of us take a small step towards uniting our communities then perhaps we can all meet each other somewhere in the middle. Do what you can, where you can, and do it now before this moment passes and our country splinters beyond repair.

No More Sugar Coating It: The Harsh Reality Staring the United States in the Face

The state of the world, and specifically of the United States, is tenuous at best. Unemployment rates are at an all time high, evictions, bankruptcy, and destitution are looming for many; natural disasters seem to be occurring on an endless loop, and a political circus is playing itself out right before our very eyes. Politicians and legislators who seemingly have control over the fate of so many Americans remain content to reapply their clown makeup and adjust their shiny red noses while human lives are being squandered. So where does that leave us, the working people and back bone of this country?

For most of us, we’re swirling around a deep dark hole of despair. 50% of Americans report facing serious financial problems with 26% depending on credit cards (which they are unsure how and when they’ll be able to pay down) to make ends meet. 23% of Americans report being behind on their mortgage or rent payments, 13% are behind on car payments and facing imminent repossession, and 23% are in danger of having their utilities shut off due to late or non-payment. 17% of Americans report that they are unable to afford enough food for their families and are turning to food pantries and other charities on a weekly basis. 13% of your fellow Americans are currently ignoring severe medical problems and skipping or rationing crucial medication. Our national annualized economy is currently sitting at -32%, worse than the Great Depression where is bottomed out at -13%.

For as much as we all wax on about how bad everything is and how 2020 is simply a disaster of a year, many of us are remaining ignorant to how bad the state of those around us is rapidly becoming. Things are not getting better at any noticeable rate and suffering is increasing at an exponentially on the daily. In the entire year of 2018, 48,344 people completed suicide and data trends are predicting that that number will be up by approximately 65% by the end of 2020.

I think by now, most of us are starting to realize that surviving on our own will prove to be extremely difficult if not impossible. None of us are immune to the hardships that are to come and I implore of you to reach out to your neighbors, your friends, your community, to band together and take care of each other. The worst is yet to come and many of us truly will not make it out on the other side unless we all bear up under the weight of this crisis together. Organize. Build mutual aid networks. Take care of each other because nobody else will.