RDP: Fear


Fear

Like most of us, I have fears that may seem irrational to others. I have a fear of falling that prevents me from doing things like changing lightbulbs, getting on to escalators without panicking and going up or down a steep flight of steps. As I have grown older it has become worse. I can’t even ride on the top deck of a bus now because I’m afraid of going down steep steps backwards.

These were once Sydney’s oldest moving stairs. They are wooden and were only replaced in the last year or so. I think this was at Town Hall Station but I can’t remember for sure now.

Things like going to the doctor or to visit a government department also make me feel fearful but in a different way. I feel like there is a big stone in my chest. I do what I have to do but really I just want to run away.

I am lucky though that I don’t have to experience the fears that many people have to face every day. The fear of being hungry, of having nowhere to sleep at night. I do think about this one a lot because I know that it can happen to anyone. A bit of bad luck, illness or debt and suddenly you are out on the street.

Sardaka [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

Imagine what that would feel like, losing your home. Suddenly all you have in the world is what you can carry with you. The night is coming and you don’t have enough money to rent even the cheapest room for the night. How do you sleep out in the open? How will you keep warm? How will you prevent your stuff from being stolen if you do manage to sleep? How do you protect your family when there is nowhere to go? How do you live with that fear every day maybe for years?

Tributes left for Wayne “Mouse” Perry, a homeless man who was murdered near this spot.

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

7 thoughts on “RDP: Fear”

  1. I thought about this many times. In many countries, this could have happened to me back then. And as much as I often complain about Germany, this is one of the cases where I need to praise our system here. When my depression and anxiety disease got really severe, I could have landed on the streets, but here they continued to support me with money, which was subsistence level but still possible to survive well. It wasn’t easy either, because it was lots of bureaucracy for me, but I always thought about what could have happened to me in other places. I especially remembered documentaries from the USA, where people easily land on the street. I think the German social system is thought out perfectly… sure, you find mandatory deductions on your paycheck when you work, but these are there to ensure that you or someone else can get help in difficult times. So, I really like how it’s done here.

    That doesn’t mean that we don’t have homeless people here. But these are often drug related problem. A person basically can get money from the authorities to be able to pay the apartment and other living costs, but if the person doesn’t file the application, or if they spend all the money on drugs, it happens that people become homeless. Still, I think these are people with problems too, just different problems and I am glad street workers attempt to get them back into the system too. But it’s probably not possible in all cases, because as said, I definitely see homeless people here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess there are always going to be some homeless people and if they choose to use their money for drugs there is not a lot you can do to help them until they want to be helped. However, more and more I read about people who once had good jobs and lost them who end up homeless. It’s becoming more common in women of my age group. I think it will get worse because it is harder to buy a home now and if you rent you are at the mercy of landlords. It’s not only if you can’t pay your rent. If the landlord decides to sell the house the tenants may have to go and here in Tasmania there is a shortage of affordable rentals. We have unemployment and other welfare benefit but it hasn’t been raised in real terms in 25 years. Even a house in a country town like Geeveston can cost $300 a week to rent and a single person on benefits can’t afford that unless they give up eating. In the shop where I volunteer I hear many stories of people living with relatives, in caravans and sheds because they can’t get accommodation. I’m very lucky to own my home. I agree it looks way worse in the USA as their welfare system is worse than ours but I fear we are heading that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What I find so sick about all this is that there are large corporations, and even small ones, that can’t stop maximizing profits and they basically swim in money, but yet they still do everything to avoid taxes. Same for some (of course not all) rich individuals.

        And then you have media channels that tout about lazy people that for whatever reason became jobless or homeless people, that they’re the bad ones. I always thought the real freeloaders are those that avoid taxes, not homeless, jobless or ill people, because all of us have to pay them, and they are there to improve things (schools, maintaining streets, welfare and whatnot) and to keep a standard. But some wealthy individuals and corporations don’t feel responsible and want to avoid taxes. It’s not even just about taxes because I personally think they should voluntary give something back to the system/world they profit off, and also to their workers (salary and pension) if the company is booming.

        I personally think there is going too much of the wealth to the top, and they protect their wealth well enough that people at the bottom don’t profit at all from economic booms. I once worked in a logistic center for German construction materials and building enterprises ordered massive amounts of screws and other things because they were building some highrises in Dubai. It was a contract worth millions. So, it was a large order for Dubai, and an insane amount of work for us logistic workers (it was basically body-building because we packed an unreal amount of palettes by hand). As we processed the orders and papers, and as we prepared tons of Euro pallets for Dubai, month by month, we knew how much money flew to the company we worked for. We tried to manage the work they unloaded on us but at some point, we really got a bad mood, because of the bad salary (you know, the feeling when you do more than you get paid for). They did not want to pay more, nor did they hire more workers. But they demanded unreal work from us. With the hand over our mouth, and without the chief storekeeper nearby, we all started to say: “From now on I’ll only to do the bare minimum of work, I give a damn about this company!”. At some point, we really stopped to care if the orders would leave the stock timely or not. We did decent work, but we didn’t want to attempt to be supermans anymore. We’ve been resistant to the advice to work faster too. The minimum they could have done was to hire more workers, but hey, that’ll cost… you know, greed. I left the company months later because I found something else. We all thought, if they would have been able to fire us, it wouldn’t even have been a punishment.

        Since then, unless I get paid well enough for the amount/speed of work I have to realize, this has always been my work philosophy. I do the bare minimum, but no more, especially if they can’t fire me. The rest of the energy is saved for home time because, at the end, I am human, not superman. Also, my health is more important than a company. I don’t want to be a part of the driving engine that doesn’t give something back to their workers and society/system. Because they’re one of the reasons why things don’t get improved, why money (salary, pension, welfare) doesn’t get raised at the same rate as living costs increase. I’d change my mind if they’d change their ideas/actions too. I defintely could give more, but unless they don’t, I won’t either.

        But yeah, still, if you take the USA into account, we all still look fine. Like, really fine. A friend made holidays in the USA. And you know what his main holiday impression was when he came back? It’s sad, it should be about holidays, but it was more about the visible contrast of wealth and poverty on US streets. Most of his holiday stories have been about things like “You see people driving Lambos through the streets, while there are poor souls nearby on the roadside sleeping in DIY cardboard tents”. And I saw his holiday videos, that’s how it looked like in some scenes of the video. But an equally bad scene was when they were stuck in congestion, and a guy on a skateboard drove through the cars, came to the window and said “I clean the car for dollars!?”… he looked dirty, no teeth in the mouth. Rich nation? It’s shocking. Unbelievable shocking.

        I do agree with you, we’re all heading that way. And related to your topic fear… more and more of us will have one fear in common… it’s existential fear. No matter if old, or young. More and more people know what existential fear means. I personally think, because too much greed of others.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with every word. The greed of a few wealthy corporations has made life hard for so many. Too many workers earn too much to get welfare but too little to really live. They can’t get ahead and one major bit of bad luck can push them over the edge. Employers want more work for less money so they downsize and others have to take up the slack when there are fewer people to do the work or they keep the same workforce but add more work. Seeing this happening for the past thirty years has made me much more cynical about employers and the governments who let them get away with not paying tax. How is it fair that the largest earners get the biggest tax cuts? Well that is my rant for the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I first saw it happen at the Deutsche Post, but I was around 20 years old, young and naive. So, I thought it’s just happening there. They downsized, and everyone who stayed got more work. I thought it would be better somewhere else, and tried other jobs. But after a while I realized “Uh, umm, it’s happening here too” and “Uh, it’s happening everywhere”. So, with each experience, I got more cynical too. But it’s hard not to with these experiences. It’s ironic because I think if people would be treated better, they’d happily associate themselves with the company, and would probably automatically do better work.

        I do agree, people get enough to get around the month and maybe even save a little bit and it’s not enough to build up financial security. This combined with the fact that it’s harder to find a long-term job or to stay so long that the job is secure, makes many people feel anxious. I had this topic many times with my friends, and everyone knows the feeling of not sitting securely in the saddle. It’s sad.

        It’s not fair, and ironically also not efficient. I don’t think that unhappy people can work efficiently.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think studies have even been done that show that happy employees are more productive but most employers don’t look at the big picture. Profits are what is important and if workers don’t like it there are plenty more where they came from.

        Liked by 1 person

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