Friday, February 14, 2014

A Living Income for Difficult Times


Imagine yourself a young parent, with a child less than a year old. Your partner faces inner demons that drive them to abuse substances that create them to no longer be a supportive role in this child's life. They lie, cheat and steal for their addiction and you are put into a situation to make a choice. Stay or leave - what is best for the child?

You decide to leave and seek refuge with your family. They offer you a temporary  place to stay while you fight for rights to your child to ensure you are the one responsible for the child's well being and that until the other parent has proven to support themselves through the addiction and stable enough to support the child, you are the sole custodian.

Meanwhile you must continue to work. You are now a single parent, paying legal fees to ensure the child stays in the safety of your home, you cannot count on family for child care, as they are already given you a place to stay. You have to work so you have to pay for someone to care for the child while you work.

All the while, facing the internal struggles of what this situation is showing you - is there any hope for the future? How can you provide for the child alone? What is the main point within all of this... money. Money is the one thing that will ensure a stable process of finding you and your child a place to call home and your ability to pay for legal services and child care. You must also remember to provide food and clothing for yourself and your child, as well as transportation cost for all the required traveling. You are pushed into a situation where you are not free to move about and make the rational decisions that are currently necessary of you, as you are also faced with the emotional turmoil of losing your partner to addiction, while attempting to remain focused on the child's best interest.

What do you do? What do you do in a world where you are not given the proper support to walk through this transition period? You must not only focus on the child and their well being, and your stability in a living environment, and that you are the one responsible, legally, for the child, you must also ensure you have the Money to pay for this all, within also ensuring your own sanity in this whole thing.

Imagine now if there was a Living Income Guarantee that allowed you the financial support to do what you needed to do in order to get your life aligned to the best possible situation for you and your child. You would be given the resources you needed for child care, food, shelter and transportation. You would not have to worry about work and the time away from making sure all these other things are in place, as you are given the support to do that without having to work. It is a bridge of support, a temporary relief from any added stress so that you can handle and take care of what is necessary to get through a difficult time, without having to worry about where the money is coming from - it's here for you. Because as a human, you have a right to your basic human rights and the rights of your child. You have a right to take care of priorities without having to worry about the time you must put in to work to ensure you have the Money that, without it, wouldn't give you the opportunity to walk through this time in your life with as much ease as possible.

Why is this not a guarantee for all? Why does our money system say it doesn't matter what happens, if you don't work, you cannot survive, because you need money to buy your life. Why do we not unconditionally care and support each other to do what is necessary to take care of ourselves, our children and our family? Why do we not honor each other with that ability - the ability which is our birth right?

This is another situation that many have and are facing where a Living Income Guarantee would support. You are given the money necessary to take care of your basic needs of survival to walk the process to ensure everyone is stable and cared for. You do not have to work to make money through this stage, unless you see you are able. You can take the time you need to get support for your partner. The opportunity that opens up for the one individual is beyond what we have at the moment, not to mention the self-care available as the time for oneself to work through any internal conflict or struggles that happen in such a situation.

Our economic system should not put more stress on an individual, it should in fact be a life-support system that allows one the ability to live - isn't that what we strive for in our technological, social and economic claim of advancement - a better standard of living for all? If all are not having access to such a point, then we have failed in our "advancement" - we have only then re-designed the same pattern where some are kept in dire situations of worry, stress and fear, while others are ensured their life and living is comfortable and so any unexpected events, such as the one above, does not become a burden and an experience of hopelessness. We have come too far along in our history to have not yet learned that when all individuals in a society are supported to exist in a state of well being, which is supported through ensuring all their basic rights as a human, than you have a healthy society as a whole. It is a disservice to ourselves as a whole in not making sure money is used to support All life, through all situations and events, and not used as a weapon to keep people trapped, in fear and without hope.

Stand in the Shoes of Another, Imagine who you would be and what would best support you. Ensure that you could trade the lives of anyone on Earth and still live in dignity - Investigate the Living Income Guarantee, proposed by the Equal Life Foundation. Stand up for those that are not in a position to do so.