Musing Monday: Social Envy
This is a tricky subject I know. But I think it is worthwhile chatting about it.
It is a very special social envy that I am observing in our society recently.
Maybe it is just Germany, but maybe you have observed it as well.
We are not talking about the envy some of us feel when watching what the Upper-Ten-Thousand, the rich, the really wealthy, the celebrities are able to buy, to enjoy.
Not the envy some feel when seeing a Porsche or a Dolce&Gabana necklace.
No this is more crucial. We are talking about being envy of those who are poor.
We are social beings and therefore it is embedded in most constitutions to care for those who are not able to care for themselves.
Most religions follow this path too.
In modern society it means that government runs a more or less successful welfare or benefit system. In Germany it is called Hartz IV.
People who don’t have a job but are able to work will get a certain amount of money to care for their living and housing.
They have to look for a job and proof that they are doing so. Job has to be any suitable job – they can’t relay on the profession they have been trained in.
Problem is: there are not enough jobs for all people. (actually we need jobsharing: the relation is 1 job for 50 people) And even if you are able to fulfill a certain suitable job, some employers just don’t want you for some reasons (age, gender, to few education, to much education) …
So it is not that easy to find a job.
Some have found one but don’t earn enough money to feed their family and therefore they will get additional welfare.
Here comes social envy.
People with good jobs have started to look down on people on welfare. They don’t see the single person anymore. It is the way as if those on welfare are branded and people just watch the mark on the face!
So they refuse to be with people on Hartz IV – it happened recently.
A friend of mine is involved in knitting. They have established several knitting circles and meet in person on a regular basis.
My friend is ill – therefore not possibility to get a job. She does some charity work – to give society back what she is taking. Love the idea.
And she is always looking forward to the knitting circles. Some people sell hand-colored wool there. My friend saves usually some euros from her welfare – literally she relinquishes some food to save for some wool.
I mean it is her money, so why not spending it the way she likes. And we all need a little pleasure in life.
People are envy
In their eyes she is just sitting at home and does NOTHING.
She is living on their tax money! How could she?
Actually there is no law in Germany, which releases people on welfare from taxes like: VAT.
So it is not only the tax-money of those with jobs and good earning.
Interestingly some people think that people on welfare are greedy, that they are just interested in their benefit or advantage. They just don’t realize that when living on a very small amount of money every dime counts.
They judge without knowing the whole story.
My friend gets accusations because she is not looking for a job! Sure she is not looking since she is ill. She gets treatment to recover and she also has to ask for pension.
And actually I wouldn’t want to let everybody know what kind of illness I am suffering of. That this illness might prevent me from finding a job. And I also don’t want to show everybody my efforts in finding a job.
But people don’t care about that. They don’t care about the job market situation.
It is easily said: “Who wants to work will find a job.”
Some people have written over 500 or 700 applications … nothing.
People are envy and start to judge behavior.
Somebody on welfare has to be obedient and submissive … really?
They should ask those who are working if they are allowed to spend their money on a certain item … really?
What society do we want to live in?
I am really asking myself what kind of society do we want to live in?
Do we really want a society in which those who posses a tiny bit more than those who are poor, run around and bash those who are poor?
Fact is: everybody can easily slip into those boots.
If you are lucky and have a job … you might get fired tomorrow.
Unemployment insurance will pay you 63% of your last net-income for just 12 months and if you are not able to find a job in that time … boom … welfare is waiting for you and you will be judged too.
I don’t want to live in a society where people are envy on those who have nothing and where this nothing even includes NO chance at all.
What do you think?