Earn your keep

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

I don’t give a fig whether a politician has a Mercedes, Lexus, Range Rover, expensive cell phone, cattle farm, or whatever other trappings of wealth. If they have access to cars, drivers, school fees or no taxes as perks of their job so what? The jealousy must be set aside. The focus must be on earning what you get. People must only expect a hard day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

If someone lands a job that pays a certain salary, there are performance markers that must be achieved. If they achieve it and get their salary and perks, c’est la vie. Too many people take the high salary and perks that come with a job and don’t do the work required to earn it. It is the fact that they don’t do the work for which they are paid that is the problem, not the salary level.

What is the point of shouting about someone’s benefits that go with a job when nothing is done to change the rules and eliminate the perks or increase the deliverables?

There are ministers in Cabinet and MPs sitting in Parliament who haven’t got a clue. They are reaping the benefit and not adding value.

There are civil servants and public officials that clog up the system every time they show up at work. And yet, they collect their salaries every single month. They are a drain on the nation’s coffers and spirit.

There are massive numbers of people in the private sector scheming everyday about how to get something for nothing. Many have generational wealth from family members, Trust Funds, perpetual tenders from inside connections or family-owned businesses. Working is an option for them; they have a job, place to live and food to eat whether they earn it or not.

And yet, there are people who, regardless of colour, ethnicity or socio-economic class have worked their asses off their whole lives and now, can afford a smooth and easy life until the day they die. Bravo for them! Being jealous and overly critical won’t add money to your bank account; working hard like them, will.

Martin Luther King once said,

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

That statement means that you must find what you can do, do it to the best of your ability and earn your keep.

Everyone wants something better in life. For some, ‘better’ is just having food for dinner tonight. For others, ‘better’ is buying a larger house. The point is to always look forward to new goals. Those goals can be achieved with hard work.

Few make it to the financial Promised Land. It will always be that way. There will never be a Namibia of 2.5 million people, with 2.5 million citizens earning the same monthly income and living at the same economic class level. I am not of school of thought that says that hard working people’s fruits of their labour must be equally divided amongst all. That system has been tried and it will not work.

I’ll be stuffed if I put in 10 hour workdays for 20 years and buy a house within my means and someone who did not put in the time, gets the same house for free from my tax dollars. They justify their boon by saying, “I need a house to live in.” Well, we all need a place to live. That’s why I worked hard to get one.

Handouts and freebees are only for those with disabilities, chronic illness (mental or physical), elderly/retired, or vulnerable children. Veterans and those deemed to have served the nation in other ways should get special consideration for subsidies and assistance. They need the hand up and they should get it.

Others, who would rather live on their parent’s money, feel entitled because they are white or have a powerful family connection to politicians, choose to be in a shebeen instead of a library, or who would earn their money by stealing it from others, don’t deserve a damn thing. They did not earn it.

I will fight like a wild cat for equal access to opportunities for all. But, I have no time for those who won’t work hard to help themselves.

Indeed racism and sexism and depression/stress are huge barriers that hold people back in life. That is when the government, churches, relief organizations, entertainers and artists, loving families and good neighbours must roll up their sleeves and help those in need.

Hard work is the path to living your best life. There is no other path to permanent success whether a person is a street cleaner, an executive in a private company or a president.

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