Everyday Socialism

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There is a lot to discuss about “Insecure” (WHICH I LOVE), but I’d like to talk about something less obvious.

I think a lot of my friends are of the mind that the rich should be taxed more and that people with more should give to people with less.

Yet, in their everyday lives, this isn’t really how they behave.

I think it’s the most obvious when disasters such as Harvey come along and most everyone I know is quick to donate and try to help.

This is of course, important and awesome, but why don’t we apply that same generosity to the people we know and love? Not to say that the latter somehow trumps things like natural disasters or the unpreventable. However, I think we often turn a blind eye to the needs of people close to us for reasons I don’t always understand. Maybe it’s because they seem less dire.

Or maybe, as the Sex and the City episode “Ring A Ding Ding”, some of us are Charlotte feeling like it’s Carrie’s own fault for being in debt.

If we agree that 1) we are not all born with the same opportunities and 2) some occupations are not rewarded financially like they should be (i.e. teachers, social workers) and 3) creative types are especially punished in this way, then why is it so hard to lend a hand to our friends and family who are affected by these things?

I bring this up because I wonder why Molly, who is Issa’s best friend, makes no attempt to help her out when her car needs repair. Yes, it’s $5,000. But Molly is a lawyer, who is obviously doing well for herself. Even if it was just a loan, it seems like something she could do.

I’m always mystified by people’s unwillingness to occasionally pick up a tab or cover a coffee.

I have a friend who moved out to California a few years back. He lived a very non-traditional, drifter type of life. He is a talented clothing maker and designer and lives sparingly. When we would get a cheap bite to eat, I’d pick up the tab. I wasn’t making a ton of money at the time, but I was making more.

I don’t deserve an award. I’m just wondering why this doesn’t happen more often in general.

The other afternoon, I went out with a friend who is much younger than me. I was telling her how I was feeling stressed about money. She ended up picking up the tab, even when I protested. Maybe that was her plan all along. Or maybe hearing me worry made her take action right then and there, knowing this little bit might help.

I know that we all have different relationships with money. I also know that just because you make “X” amount, doesn’t mean that you actually have that liquid cash. Perhaps you have a ton of debt. Perhaps you’re saving for something important. Perhaps you have a large mortgage.

In that same way, people who have less than you may also have these problems, on top of things like medical bills or unexpected things like a car accident.

And just the simple gesture of offering financial help, either by loaning money or doing something like buying a coffee, to me, is how you can practice every day socialism in your life.

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