In the workforce everyone knows that companies are held together by the nameless ones. The administrative assistants and accountants and IT. The people who don’t get their names on plaques or company letters. You know who your contact is to get something done or find out information.
The US is the same. This country is held together by the middle class. The people who go to work and follow the rules. We have enough to pay our bills and our taxes and upgrade our cars when we have kids. Our time is filled with work, school, kids, kids’s school, small vacations, and doctor appointments.
This is why we are and will continue to be completely screwed. We don’t have the time or the money to advocate for something better. We just take our licks, get up the next day, and go to work.
There is no time to devote to improving laws, cities, services, or political representation. We go to meetings, but don’t organize them. We do walks and fundraisers but don’t get on planning committees or create new organizations. Our taxes pay for the government but we have no say in how that government is run because instead of going to political functions, we are at work or caring for our kids.
Politicians say they are for the middle class and we pay their paychecks, but they are sponsored during elections and lobbied by the upperclass. They are voted for by the lower class.
The rule followers, the paycheck, the middle class…we don’t have the time, money, or energy to make a big splash…so we go quietly into the night.
We think our 30 minutes or $30 won’t make a difference, so we do nothing. I am actively trying to do something but no one wants my 30 minutes or my $30 because it isn’t $3M, so I am standing on the corner with $30 and half an hour and will walk away unanswered.
I am a middle class mom with an autistic child who wants to make changes. I do a walk for autism every year and the money I raise leaves my state and I never know what happens to it. But it is all I have to feel that I am fighting for my son. I don’t have the time or money to create a new foundation. So I take my licks and do my best.
We keep doing this. Taking our licks. Wanting more but starting with so little. We are the powerless who empower the rest of the country. We hold all the strings together so everything works, but meanwhile our lives and potential and families unravel.
If we each did a little. If we talked and organized so the little that we did worked towards a coherent bigger goal, that would be something. That would be getting our power back. Would it matter if you woke up tomorrow and decided to do that little something that seemed so inconsequential before? Will you ever know the answer to that question if you don’t try? Should the answer even matter? At least you won’t be going quietly into the night.