As most people know, locusts swarm. According to my English dictionary they also consume vegetation of ‘districts’ (whole areas I suppose). Another definition is “…person of devouring or destructive propensities”.
And it is the people who act like locusts of whom I was thinking a few weeks ago.
We all know those people. They seem to be devouring us – quite often it’s developers who seem to indiscriminately demolish small houses in friendly little neighbourhoods and build (particularly near where I live) rows of three storey townhouses or McMansions – many of which are of the same or similar design or just of no thoughtful design in particular – which then dwarf everything around them!
Then there are those who live and work in a community for years and, having reaped their salary and pension, go off elsewhere to retire.
I understand the need to get monetary value out of a property that one has owned for many years and most people plan on their home being their major investment for their retirement. I also understand that it has become impossible to downsize and still be able to retire in my city – perhaps that’s true of many other communities in this country.
However, many of those self same people seem to devour and use up those around them. Having been ‘used up’ on many occasions – I’ve said before “I’m a slow learner!” – I frequently feel devoured by those types of people, even those who spend relatively short periods of their lives here.
This topic came up in discussion recently with my oldest son who is an idealist - quite like me in fact! He wants to do good work in his field and keep up the high standards he expects of himself and his industry and he has very little time for the profiteers, some of whom he likened to being “lower than a used car salesman”!
But we all are at a threshold. He has been recognized in his field for his work, which is great, however we now all need more income to be produced by this ‘family business’.
He definitely doesn’t want to be a locust and neither would I want him to be so. I always said “don’t just work for the money” – it’s coming back to haunt me!!
We do live in America after all – the land of milk and honey etc. etc. – so we should be able to make enough profit for us all to survive, and maybe even live comfortably but at the same time not have to compromise our values.
We don’t want to be locusts.
I was thinking recently of a family that will need childcare next year when their second child is born. They have compromised their lifestyle so that their first born and family life remains in tact. They are just the people I would like to work for and not have to take more money from them than they can afford to pay. It could be a mutual agreement - I will do the right thing by them and their children and they will do the right thing by me.
How wonderful it would be if I didn’t have to live the rest of my life around and working for locusts!!
I want to build, not devour.