Fictional ? Sadness
A fireman awoke today to the ringing of the stations bell. He rushed to get his gear on and join his teammates as the fire truck pulled from the station. As they came upon the building, they pushed past the crowds, past the screams and rushed into the blackness of the smoke without a moment’s hesitation. As the flames raged around him he rushed up the stairs towards the screams of a child. Debris and ash fell from the ceiling above him and sweat poured from his brow. He pushes on, never thinking of his own safety as he reaches her hiding in a closet. She is terrified as he hoists her over his shoulder, trying to calm her as she kicks and screams while the flames kiss them both. As the air outside washes over them, she grips him with the grip of someone who only moments earlier thought she would die, only to have that fear brushed away by the fresh air and sun she now bathes in. He accepts her thanks, her mothers hug, and climbs back into the truck to head back to the station. He arrives at home later that night, grateful that he has cheated death for another day. He hugs his wife and child and sits down to dinner. Afterwards he cracks a cold beer and goes over his bills. Mortgage, heat, insurance, phone bill, car payment…one by one he writes the checks that his bravery cashes and curls up in bed, comforted by the press of his wife against his back.He knows he has little money left after his bills but tomorrow is another day and another 20 years of this and hopefully he can retire, maybe even with a pension. He is grateful for what he has and is a noble man.
Her alarm goes off at 5am. She stretches and starts the coffee as she heads to the shower, listening to the weather on the radio. She knows traffic will be bad, it always is driving into the city, so she scrapes her windows in the morning cold and heads out. She arrives at school 45 minutes before class starts and begins to prepare he plans for the day. She has lessons to teach, tests to grade and a few problem students who need some extra help. Once the kids arrive, it is loud and chaotic as she herds them all into their seats and instructs them to turn in their assignments from the night before. While they work on today’s assignment, she grades yesterdays tests and is happy with some students and disappointed in a few others as she wonders what she can do to get through to them. As the day winds down, she has numerous parents to contact. She knows that some of the students aren’t trying while others are distracted by problems at home and she hope she can find a way to get them on track, doing so is important to her. She fights the traffic again to make it home in less than an hour so she can feed and care for her own children after spending all day caring for other people’s. After dinner, she strives to find the best way to reach her students, knowing that what she teaches them will form the foundation of their future. Her husband and her pay the bills, plan a weekend for their children on a limited budget but know that they have love and character and that is enough for them to be happy.
The actor is between movies. He wakes up whenever he feels like because if he overslept, his nanny will make sure the kids eat. He and his wife don’t have much housework to do because they have a maid. They decide to go out window shopping and after grabbing some coffee, they stop by a store in Beverly Hills where she purchases a purse for $1,000.00, close to the average weekly salary of the before mentioned firefighter. Afterwards, they have their picture taken as they walk the streets, shopping for an outfit for a film premiere that night. Since they will be standing in front of hundreds of people who will take their picture over and over again, they decide to spend thousands of dollars on one outfit from a high-priced designer. They then head home, likely with a gourmet lunch prepared by a personal chef before they head over to their personal trainer for their exercise for the day. That evening, they hop into a limo that by the end of the night will cost them what the previous two people’s car payment for a month is. They attend the premiere and have their picture taken hundreds of times before watching the film. They then head back to their mansion that is valued at more than ten times than that of the firefighter or the teacher for a good nights rest, never thinking about bills because of their ten figure bank accounts.
Is it just me or is there something wrong with these stories? Athletes, actors, writers, TV talking heads, CEO’s of companies who are mainly behind a desk as the working man puts in the work to generate the billions, musicians……these people are compensated hundreds of times better than those who teach, who save lives, who raise our children, who protect us. My issue is not with capitalism, instead it is with the question of whether this system is one based in reason….