I did some websearch recently and it was interesting reading the articles “Jamie Oliver is a ‘poverty tourist’” and ‘Young Brits are lazy – Jamie Oliver’ on IOL. It is my opinion that Jamie may have stepped into a trap called wrongful perception and social cognition schema association where you will judge somebody – for example - because he is presently poor. Wikipedia define perception as, “the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment”.
It can be destructive if one’s perception is wrong. To quote M. Shawn Cole: “You are only as wise as others perceive you to be”. It is my opinion that many people choose to believe the newspapers, hearsay information and the opinions of important individuals rather than doing their own research on a matter. When I was young I was one of those people who saw everything as black and white. Rumours and gossip was my information basis resulting in me being prejudiced. Now as a more mature individual, I have a much more open mind and will listen to different views on a matter, practicing important principles, for example, that you always need to hear the other side before you judge. Jamie may be wrong and my reason for saying it, is that I worked and lived in the UK for almost a decade and saw the good work ethics of the ‘poor’ hard working laborer.
Many of working and middle class workers are hard working people spending most of their time at work. A quick paragraph to explain the income differences: The middle class in Europe are those families earning approximately £70 000 a year and the ‘poor’ those earning less than that. Bricklayers working on development projects earn about £20 000 annually. If a bricklayer have a working partner earning £10 000 a year, then their total income will be around £30 000 annually, well below that of the middle class. I lived in a new development and saw the bricklayers doing their jobs during the winter in temperatures of -5 degrees Celsius from early in the mornings until late in the afternoons. They were mostly British workers, using specialized equipment on site for which you need special training and skills to operate. This is but one example and there are many others. The Credit Crisis Financial “Armageddon” happened during 2008.
I read that to handle the pain brought about by the credit crunch, one needs to start using a lateral thinking process, which has to do with change, especially when change involves escaping from an existing pattern. We may want to try thinking differently about things around us; move away from regular up and down patterns in our family and working lives; try something different and challenging; try getting to know people from a different country and culture, and maybe eat a traditional dish with them. We also need to search for better options and better concepts and again, this can happen if we meet people from different nationalities and learn and explore their way of life and concepts. The ideas of foreigners and how they do certain things in their country or culture may be better than ours. We need to explore this neutral lateral thinking process and need to always have an open mind. This is one of the reasons why it can be good for one to get a tenant in.
Another reason to get a tenant is that it brings in extra money to try to survive the credit crunch. I did just that and during a period of about 3 years I met people from different nationalities through letting one of my rooms. One of the tenants, Praveen, an Indian and qualified medical doctor rented the room for a long period and it was not long after he settled in that he agreed to prepare a wyruc dish. We introduced him to South African dishes and he made us hot curry with Indian sweets (Ras Gulla for example) as a dessert. It was interesting to see how the different nationalities do their washing and cooking and how they interacted with us. One of the Indian tenants was a security officer working for a South African employer and told us on many occasions how happy he was working for this person. He earned around £20 000 a year by working many hours overtime. Workers earning the minimum wage often work many hours overtime to increase their monthly income. We seldom saw this tenant as he only used the room for sleeping in-between his shifts. His purpose was to make enough money to start his own business.
This was a young and healthy looking person with a purpose in life to work hard until he reaches prosperity. Some of us have entrepreneurial outlooks already in school and will start with small money making projects. I have delivered newspapers for pocket money from 5am in the mornings in Harrismith where the temperature in the winter can fall to -13 degrees Celsius. I have done this on my second hand racing bike where time was of the essence in the mornings. It is common knowledge that Jamie is extremely rich and is standing outside the fire of pain the poor experience daily. The one in the fire see things differently to the one outside the fire. There are sensible organisations preferring their staff to have gained some “in the fire” experience for the difficult job at hand.
Social Workers are a good example where the employer is looking for somebody with a mature and compassionate attitude. If you can demonstrate that you understand other people’s suffering, then you may be the person they want. To say that struggling families could eat so much better if they stopped spending their money on chips and television sets, when they could be buying mangetout and mussels is overlooking the difficulties these people have to cope with life on a daily basis. Many people in the UK are poor (according to Western Standards) and need to use public transport, which is very expensive. Jamie should rather have proposed that the Government needs to issue traveling coupons to the struggling families for them to go out and look for work, travel to their work or to the countryside to have a regular family picnic. That would be more helpful and an outcome to families sitting at home in front of their big TV. I believe that the poor worry more than the rich and this affects their way of life.
Dr Rossman wrote in his book The Worry Solution published 2010 on page 176 that “the feelings that stem from our self-image directly influence how and what we eat…”. See also -http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/poverty-can-affect-your-iq-study-1.1570788 - comments_start. There are many schemes in the UK to keep the youth occupied after school. In this regard, one of the Borough Councils decided to appoint a person (with a remuneration of £30 000 pounds a year) to accompany boys to the local lake for recreational fishing. It is my opinion that with high unemployment, ruthless employers and other evils facing the poor daily, they need moral support, positive rather than negative criticism. Yes, poor people buy big TV’s but the rich buy big 7-seater cars, for example. A big TV costs around £400 and a 7-seater car around £17 000. Important questions are: What is the carbon footprint of a 7-seater car against that of a big TV? Are the rich destroying the earth or the poor? Should the poor not be compensated for the lavish lifestyle of the rich and should the rich not be asked to live less grand to assist saving the earth for the children? It is debatable whether some of the people who ‘look’ rich are really rich or only ‘poor’ people with big TV’s and large cars and lots of debt.
Not all poor people are wonderloafs with big TV’s and not all rich have acquired their wealth through hard work. When I asked a person in the UK why they are building houses in new developments with small garages, (in fact the garage is so small you cannot park a normal size family car in it), he said that the Government wants people to either drive a very small car or try to get on without a car and use (expensive) public transport. Now you have cars blocking streets in neigbourhoods. The fact is that many rich people have big houses in the countryside with a big garage housing one or more big vehicles. Finally, the rich are replacing the low paid workers with machines. How moral is that and where will those unemployed now get a proper income to buy good food? Just asking. However, we need the rich for economic growth.
Apparently, the rich spend most of their money nationally and create local jobs in the process. Basically, rich people with good entrepreneurial skills should, in my opinion, be involved in job creating discussions so that they can make proposals regarding new business opportunities. The Government, the seasoned entrepreneur (philanthropist) and any willing and hard working prospective business individual(s) can then start with the business until it reaches maturity, creating jobs for the unemployed. We also need an accolade system where the rich get accolades in one or other form when they give some of their money to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s). “You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.” ? Winston Churchill [See http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/rich]
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