Today Parade magazine had it’s annual listing of what folks doing different things around the country get paid. I can’t help but look at it even though I know it will result in me wishing and daydreaming about making 25 million a year like some of the movie stars and other high rollers they feel obliged to include.
This annual Parade magazine ritual serves to reiterate to me that I am just one of the little people in the world. A relative nothing in the economic driver of society – a mere drop in America’s economic ocean – that’s me. Alas, it also reminds me of other things as I look at all the faces and pay amounts…more positive things.
First, it reminds me that money doesn’t define worth. Heck, notorious football player Michael Vick makes $1.6 million a year while Maurine Roller, a Good Samaritan Executive, makes $20,000 a year. I am thinking Maurine is more worthy of our respect and admiration than Michael, but that is not reflected in their pay.
Second, it reminds me that in some cases things are relative. Our own hometown boy, Bill Willis (not sure if he is related to Bruce or not), makes $58,200 as a social worker while Linda Ramirez from Redondo Beach, California makes $92,500. I am betting that Linda’s cost of living is higher than Bill’s and that she has a longer commute to work. In the case of Bill and Linda it isn’t really the amount of the annual pay alone, that pay is relative to the place they live in.
Third, it reminds me that no matter how well I am doing personally there are others that are economically better off than I am and economically worse off than I am. And guess what, in Parade magazine they are all smiling! In today’s economy having a steady job that allows you to pay your bills is a good thing no matter where you line up on the economic food chain.
Fourth, it reminds me that hope springs eternal. I may still make that $25 million a year…I am still waiting for someone (anyone) to discover my intrinsic value in the world and to reward me with buckets of money. I am fairly sure that I should be Oprah’s replacement (I have always said that I fancy myself as the white Oprah – but no one seems to have been listening). I probably won’t be a famous chef like Wolfgang Puck ($18 million) or a country singer like Taylor Swift ($17.2 million), but I could certainly do Jay Leno’s job for a lot less than he gets paid ($32 million). I have mad skills and I am holding on to the hope that someone else will recognize that.
Thanks so much for the reminders Parade magazine…they were worth a million bucks.
Day two hundred and eighty of the new forty – obla di obla da