The Importance of Being Grateful

On Sunday, my Dad usually picks up The News of the World (British paper) and while he reads the paper,  I read the supplements, namely Fabulous Magazine (which is a good magazine to pass the time). He usually reads in silence, mumbling every now and then, but this time he drew my attention to a particular article; ‘£95k in Benefits and Still Moaning’. The article showed a family; Mum, Dad and ten children looking quite glum in a picture (with the exception of one little boy smiling on the far right).
I will quote from the journalist Dominic Herbert who had the joys of writing this article.

‘Whining Pete and Sam Smith don’t need jobs – instead they just work the system, pulling in a staggering £95,000 a year in state benefits. The huge handout package – Five times the starting salary for a schoolteacher – includes a free-rent four bedroom house, daily breakfast delivered to the door and enough spare cash to keep five pets pampered in a cattery.’

What? I mean, seriously what?!? This was my initial reaction before reading the rest of the article, and trust me it gets a whole lot worse. I think the rest of my thoughts ended up in a whole load of curse words and expletives. Can you blame me? These people work the system… these people gain near enough a £100k a year… without working. And they are complaining?!
It may as well be like me complaining about winning the lottery, because this is exactly what this family has, and the annoying thing is that we’re paying for them with our taxes.
When did it come to this? When did it come to the fact that people who receive benefits are complaning? What if they didn’t get anything – they would be forced off their parked ar**s to go out and work! Oh and guess what, they’d be paying for OTHER people’s benefits.

So with this in mind, I was quite amused to see a film about gratefulness and happiness on tv that Sunday evening; ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (purposeful misspelling – for any of you who don’t know it). This was such a sad film full of all the trials and tribulations of life. Will Smith stars as the very talented but poor Chris Gardner, who just can’t catch a break in his life. At one point he’s living on $21 – that’s all he has in his bank account. It is indeed tragic.
Converting this into the British Pound, it equates to £13.60 (thanks to expedia’s currency converter). =)

How do you live off £13.60? Heck, I can’t even buy my food for the week with this – even if you bought cheap supermarket brands. Even though the film is set in 1981, this would still not be enough to buy a week’s worth of shopping. Chris Gardner somehow managed to get through his situation and caught a break – though I won’t tell you what for fear of spoiling it. The film is based on real events, and this ‘Chris Gardner’ truly is an inspiration to many people.

So I have a message to the Smith Family: Be grateful for what you have, because in an instant you could lose it all.

I have learnt a lesson too, and this is to be grateful that I have a roof over my head when there are many people in this country that don’t. Be grateful that you have a home, and that by all accounts you have access to the internet.

To read the full article follow the link:

Posted on September 8, 2010, in Film Takes, News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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