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"When one experiences truth, the madness of finding faults with others disappears" - S.N. Goenka.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Fresh out of college, yet to make a mark on the world, I landed my first full-time job, proud and eager to flaunt my academia and contribute toward a better society. The working poor was what Chicago’s local newspaper, the Tribune, labeled all of us case managers working in the social health field. It is one of the sad ironies of modern life that people often seem to be paid in inverse proportion to their value to society. At first it didn’t bother me that I earned less in a five-day workweek than bartending a four-hour shift. I was making a difference helping Chicago’s neediest citizens. My clients were homeless, mentally ill substance abusers, most of them refugees or immigrants who considered the working poor a label of aspiration. I attempted to keep this perspective but my spirit thickened with despair. The job had me treading the dark waters of bleakness. It didn’t take long to realize that four-years of protected college courses did nothing to prepare me for a reality I would otherwise step right over, turn my head and ignore.