What we’re worth

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

We all hope that some­day we’ll be paid what (we think) we’re worth. And in most cases, right­fully or wrong­fully, (we feel) we haven’t got­ten there yet. We of­ten com­plain about it, too. Some of the younger gen­er­a­tion, it seems, want out of school, and to im­me­di­ately sky­rocket to the top – bring home a large chunk of cash and spend it at will. What ever hap­pened to that drive to work our way up in the world? Take the ‘Oc­cupy’ move­ment, for ex­am­ple. With­out agree­ing or dis­agree­ing with the move­ment, is it even right to com­plain about what some­body else might have ac­com­plished in the work­place? What they take home in their bank ac­counts? And how that com­pares to the ‘av­er­age Joe’?

The Cana­dian Cen­tre for Pol­icy Al­ter­na­tives re­leased a re­port on Jan. 2 that looked at Canada’s top CEO’S and their com­pen­sa­tion. The re­port showed in 2010, the coun­try’s elite CEO’S “had pock­eted an av­er­age $8.38 mil­lion ... a 27 per cent in­crease over the av­er­age $6.6 mil­lion they pock­eted in 2009.”

That’s 189 times the av­er­age Cana­dian, whom the Cen­tre said takes home (a whop­ping) $44,366. And let’s face it – times are tough. The to­tal on the gro­cery bill in­creases al­most weekly, es­pe­cially here in this prov­ince, where our food trav­els for days, or weeks, just to get here. And gaso­line, well, we don’t need to re-hash the story at the pumps. It makes it darn easy to com­plain when we pay the bills and are left with mere pen­nies to sur­vive un­til the next (av­er­age) pay­check.

But can we re­ally com­plain about what oth­ers make as com­pared to one’s self?

What about the CEO that was raised in a poor fam­ily with lit­tle food on the ta­ble – a hum­ble be­gin­ning that gave them the drive to strive for bet­ter for them­selves and their fam­i­lies?

And when you put it that way, how can you com­plain that they ac­com­plished this for them­selves?

Many of us nowa­days don’t just fo­cus on the ne­ces­si­ties. We fo­cus on the ‘wants’ of daily life – lunch out, the new­est elec­tron­ics, the lat­est in fash­ion and the largest of homes. Per­haps many of us are spend­ing far more than that $44,366 that we take home.

Per­haps we shouldn’t be com­plain­ing at all, but rather look­ing at what we have and liv­ing within those means.

There is a pop­u­lar quote cir­cu­lat­ing online that reads: “If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 per cent of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wal­let, and some spare change, you are among the top eight per cent of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morn­ing with more health than ill­ness, you are more blessed than the mil­lion peo­ple who will not sur­vive this week. If you have never ex­pe­ri­enced the dan­ger of bat­tle, the agony of im­pris­on­ment or tor­ture, or the hor­ri­ble pangs of star­va­tion, you are luck­ier than 500-mil­lion peo­ple alive and suf­fer­ing.”

The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and yes, we all have a role to play in each other’s well­be­ing, but there comes a time when we have to stop com­plain­ing, bite the bul­let and look for our own ways to surge to the top – if that’s where we want to be.

Af­ter all, there has to be a good rea­son why some­one could be worth mil­lions of dol­lars an­nu­ally – and in their eyes, like the ma­jor­ity of us – they mightn’t be get­ting paid what (they think) they’re worth.

Renell Legrow, Editor Grand Falls-wind­sor Ad­ver­tiser

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