The Struggling Class

Forget the middle class.  It's gone.  There may be an upper class.  There is definitely a lower class.  But the middle class; it no longer exists.  It's been replaced by the struggling class. And much of the struggling class is slowly slipping away to the lower class.

The unemployment rate is dropping.  That's what I hear.  The truth, I believe, is that it has dropped.  It has dropped off the radar.  There are way too many people who are no longer considered "unemployed" because they are no longer eligible for unemployment.  Some are still looking; some have given up hope.  Many are working short term contract jobs with no benefits. They are all part of the struggling class.

They are the ones who are trying to stay afloat.  The ones who are overqualified and cannot find employment.  The ones who are just starting off and have little or no experience.  The ones who would take just about anything if offered, but there are no offers.

The struggling class is scared.  Why wouldn't they be?  It's not as if they aren't hard workers.  Most of them are.  Many of them have worked all lives and now find that they are redundant.  Or so they have been told.

There are too many in the struggling class.  There are too many good people trying to keep their heads above water.

I am part of the struggling class, but I am one of the lucky ones.  I have an extended family that has helped to keep me afloat.  I also have a job.  My pay is just about what it was 10 years ago.  Unfortunately most of my bills are not.  But I know that I am blessed.  There are so many who are not.  

Some of them are my friends.  I wish I could help them.  I don't like the struggled and I certainly don't like to see those that I love and care about struggle as well.  I know way too many people of all ages, genders, and races who are in need of help.  

I want to help.  I hope that I can in some way.  As I continue to tread water, I want to reach out to those who are going under.  I can't help financially, but I can keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities.  I can be someone who will listen.  I can be someone who understands.

I have no answers; no solutions.  I don't want to talk the politics of it all.  But I do want to see a solution to this struggling class.  I want to see people succeed.  Not just to survive, but to thrive.  I want to there to be hope for better days ahead and not fear of more of the same.

I may not have to offer, as I struggle myself, but we can all offer a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen.  We can all say a prayer.  

Maybe someday the struggling class will shrink and diminish.  Perhaps someday the middle class will return.  For life should not be about the struggling; it should be about living, loving and joy.

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