collective bargaining

I found myself bargaining the other night.  The Partner has been very ill the past few weeks, adding to the complexity of things.  He was going through an episode of hard pain, and I was doing Jin Shin Jyutsu on him.   Eventually, the flow I was doing helped his body release and get past the pain altogether.  But I heard myself, as I was working, say, Creator! Please! Even if it means I can never help another person, please let me take this pain away!

It struck me that perhaps capitalism is a natural offshoot of being human: we bargain for things reflexively.  It’s something we do, and maybe we need to do in some way.  The Partner also brought something else to my attention last night, which was this.  The United States is now a country that virtually precludes all collective bargaining.  Unions are being broken and destroyed.  Adding this to the dismal state a theoretically “working person” finds themselves in as far as even finding work to do that will support them, much less work that will allow them to retain a shred of their dignity, it isn’t hard to begin to understand the level of discomfort, pain, bitterness and hair trigger reactiveness that pervades so much of life now.

As I stood doing my work the other night though, I understood again that it is in fact the work itself that provides the dynamism in a situation.  It isn’t asking for outside help to save you or thinking that YOU are “doing it”.  The work leads you to a higher level of understanding and functioning.  You are not, perhaps, on a peer level with all the energetics of the cosmos, but you are part of them.  Maybe you can’t know it, but you can be it.   There’s a way in which this kind of awareness gives freedom and confidence.  You know you are not alone, in that moment of Being, regardless of outcome.  You know that you don’t have to do it all by yourself or even give any instructions.  You just have to be Present and do the best you can.

How does this relate to the perhaps more mundane issue of Unionized workers?  I think it relates in that when you have the ability to make decisions and see their outcomes in a situation, you feel empowered.  If you work for someone and can bargain, collectively, about issues of concern, it’s far more likely that everyone will get something they need.  Then the possibility exists for self respect and all the things that flow from that.  Removing this possibility removes so many other possibilities, and creates a situation in which about the only thing people can BE is angry.

SO.  While I often fear that my own little boat is just going to go over the edge of the falls despite all my paddling to the contrary, it still seems to me that at this point in time it is vitally important that we ALL remember that there is a better way and that way works better when we have some basic equity in ourselves and our life situations.  I still believe that putting one’s best foot forward, in love, just HAS to work.  Selfishness may work for a minute, for an individual, but in the final analysis, cooperation strengthens everyone and lets them be ever more able to do their best.

Now if I can just retain this calm attitude until I actually get my car back?  THEN I’ll be able to tell that blankety blank body shop that no, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday and there was no actual reason for the repairs to take TWO WEEKS.  And counting.  Cooperatively, of course.


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