I really love this book, although I’m not sure why considering just how depressing it is. I think perhaps just because of that. Ehrenreich truly tells it like it is, and there’s none of the sugarcoating of economic abuse and exploitation that you get with even supposedly impartial media like the BBC and UK liberal press these days. Also I’m into it just because I love memoir beyond any reasonable point and every detail of Ehrehreich’s wilfully grim and dispiriting experiences is fascinating to me.
There is a temptation, as a reader, to keep second-guessing her choices, and the choices of her more truly blue/pink collar colleagues. To think and hope, wishfully, deludedly, that given the same circumstances one would do better, would rise above somehow and bootstrap one’s way up. It’s perhaps the same ‘blame the victim’ mentality associated with rape, bullying or whistleblowers – it feels so much safer to convince yourself that the system works, the target slipped up and was at fault somehow, and it could never happen to you. But it ain’t so, bud.
I had an insight while meditating. (Better get used to it, if you’re reading regularly). First, a Bible passage sprang into my mind.
The steps of a righteous person are ordered by the Lord. Psalms 37:23
And then this thought.
If your steps are ordered – guided, approved, meaningful – then doesn’t it make sense to take a lot of them? Instead of just praying vehemently and waiting for your desired things to fall into your lap, to go out into the world and do your part, as part of the universe, in making it so? A lot of ordered, guided steps!
Very like Steve Pavlina’s posts on massive action, and the comments of those wiser than I on adherents of the Law of Attraction who think it sufficient to achieve the ‘correct vibration’, without going out and doing, going after what they want. Like the universe is going to dump a Porsche and their soulmate in their laps, right there at home. Vibration is movement, people, by definition! Vibration is action! It’s taking steps! (Divinely ordered ones, of course.)
The Universe is in motion, and you are part of the Universe. If you want it to bring you what you desire, you’d better remember that you form part of the machinery that can actually do that. Little cog, get moving!