Being needed

Arthur Brooks talks about the worst part of poverty.
A few months into the program, I asked Rick, "How is your life?" and he said, "Let me show you." And he showed me an email from his boss: "Rick, emergency bedbug job, East 65th Street. I need you now."
I said, "So what?"
He said, "Read it again: 'I need you now.' That is the first time in my life anybody has said those words to me."


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Fantastic. Conservatives make too much of the things that the poor have in America. They have to live in dangerous neighborhoods, or at the sufferance of others. The people who are least able to create meaning for their lives are the ones who have the least help doing it. No wonder having babies in an insecure life holds attraction.

David Foster said...

Reminds me of a couple of quotes from Antoine de St-Exupery:

"A civilization is built on what is required of men, not on that which is provided for them"


"If you would have them be brothers, have them build a tower. But if you would have them hate each other, throw them corn"

raven said...

He must have had some time to think on the mail route! Great quotes.

David Foster said...

raven....St Ex was indeed a deep thinker. I especially recommend two is his books which are apparently not read very much, at least in the US:

--'Flight to Arras', which is based on his thoughts and emotions while flying highly-dangerous recon missions during the campaign of 1940.

--'Wisdom of the Sands' (unfortunate English title given to a French work whose actual title was 'Citadelle'), the musings of a fictional desert ruler on society and government. Uncompleted, because he was killed flying a P-38 with the Allies before he could finish it.

raven said...

Back when I was flying, I read a bunch of his writing. Philosophy aside, my favorite tale was of his being unsure of his position (AKA lost),flying on top and searching for a hole in the clouds to descend through, and hoping he was free of the mountains. Seeing a blue patch beneath him through the almost solid cloud deck, and assuming he was far enough past the peaks to be over the ocean, he dropped through the hole only to find himself in a caldera with cliffs all around rising into the clouds. Yikes.

IN the spirit of the post, this was in the Denver newspaper.