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.