Country needs all hands on deck |

Country needs all hands on deck

We live in a country at this time surrounded by many difficulties and tragedies.

We are fighting a war — and many of those who have lived through it are horribly injured — we have unemployment at its highest, we have people who have lost their homes, we have the homeless, we have a medical system that is failing through exorbitant cost, we have unavoidable tragedies caused through “nature,” we have a large senior population in this county living on almost nothing — choosing whether to eat or buy pharmaceuticals — we have children who are greatly needing education that will propel them into the future, and we have experienced some awful man-made events — Oklahoma City and 9/11.

Many times we have read and seen the effects of hurricanes and tornadoes wiping out whole areas, homes and, in some cases, many people. Most recently the awfulness of nature at work is in the northeast. Those people again have nothing — splinters where their homes were, their jobs gone, too. And they still have to sleep somewhere and eat something and try to pick up the pieces of life for their families and those around them.

And then we have the economy! If you have a job, you have to feel lucky. If you have a home and food, you have to feel lucky. In many ways, albeit different, we are all in the same boat, and like the Vikings trying to get from place to place, we have to dip our oars all in the same direction to keep the boat going. And remember that if your oar did not conform, then the trap door was opened and you were dropped into the sea and a replacement found. And if we don’t pull in the same direction, we too should be dropped and a replacement found.

(A)s they used to say, we have to pull up our bootstraps and help and work with each other and pull ourselves out of this shameful time in this country’s history.

Where am I going with this? Yes, I am talking about the people who were on strike at Raley’s — yes, there are things you don’t like about your work, but you do have a job, which presumably means you have somewhere to live and eat. It may be a difficult time, but there are many difficulties to go around right now. Standing outside the store laughing and joking and trying to hand out leaflets about your problems to some people who don’t want them is not the way to go! Causing difficulties for a company that is trying to put things back together and employees who are not part of your union working on to do their best is not the way to go. Remember, if you were in my boat, you could be dropped! And one of the many unemployed in our area would replace you.

You are on your own very small team not for the greater good for the rest of us. It is a scary and seemingly endless time of difficulty for all of us — even you! But as they used to say, we have to pull up our bootstraps and help and work with each other and pull ourselves out of this shameful time in this country’s history and get things going again to become the country and people that it once was. And if we don’t do it, no one else will. OK, it is obvious that I enjoy shopping at Raley’s, that I like the people who work there and that I don’t want to be made to feel that I am doing something bad to walk in there and shop.

In the meantime, you on the small team and on strike, get back in the boat! We don’t need more closings of businesses, more unemployed families who may also become part of the homeless problem! You should be ashamed! I am retired and living on a fixed income, and I work as a volunteer, often full time, for a nonprofit agency.

Jan Archer lives in Grass Valley.

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