Jun 26, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Guyanese would agree that we live in challenging times. High on the list of challenges is the daily struggle to put food on the table, pay the rent or mortgage, pay utility bills, and make it through the days until the next payday.
In today’s society, one of the roles of the father or man is providing for the family. Of course, some families are headed by women who take the responsibility of being the breadwinner, however, the vast majority of cases where a male is present in the household, it is the man who is expected to be the provider. With that expectation comes great responsibility and, in these harsh times, much stress. With that in mind, men should prepare themselves for that responsibility. One way to do that is to expand your skillset and make yourselves competent in areas of work that could provide income during these financial rainy days. While it may be hard to do, men should work towards diversifying their skills, to make sufficient money to provide for themselves and those who depend on them.
Man as provider
The expectation that the man of the family should be the provider dates back to the nineteenth century. At that time, the roles of men and women within a family became more rigidly defined. Men began working outside of the home in greater numbers, and they would often leave for much of the day. Wives could no longer help their husbands with their businesses, so the image of husband as provider and wife as home-maker began to replace the image of a cooperative family unit where everyone participated in its success. As a result, men became less involved with the upbringing of their children, while women’s roles became largely limited to child care and household duties. Although, presently, the roles of family members are again undergoing major revisions as society evolves, Guyanese, for the most part, believe that the man must “be a man” and provide for his family. Only a few years ago, though, a man could adequately provide for an average household working at a single job at which he is skilled. But times have changed. Prices of food-items are spiralling out of control. The cost of transportation has gone up. Necessary medications, baby-food, toiletries, almost everything we need on a daily basis are now far more expensive. Families are having to make-do with less, and men are under increasing pressure to increase their income.
Rising cost of living
The causes of rising prices may be numerous and complex; those causes are best left to the economists and other experts. The fact is, men, as providers, must deal with the reality of spiralling costs. It is clear that for most of us, one regular job will no longer cut it because the cost of living is rising every day while our pay remains the same. Men who have jobs are the fortunate ones; many are unemployed, particularly young men. In many cases, it is not that they don’t want to work; they just can’t find work in this new economic reality. In any case, to meet and beat the new challenges, we must find ways to increase our income stream. Those who are presently unemployed and those, who have jobs that are no longer paying enough to pay the bills, have to take action now. Men cannot afford to wait because experts are saying that things will get worse.
What new skills should a man acquire? The answer to that is: the skills that are in demand. And, what skills are in demand? That question is easy to answer. Any man needs only to think of all the services that we pay for to know what is in demand. If the average man wants his yard weeded he has to pay. If he wants his leaking roof fixed he has to pay. If he wants his computer fixed, his house rewired, his stove repaired, he has to pay. The point is, any skill is a skill that can bring in money. Masonry, carpentry, electrical appliance repair, computer programming, etc, are all skills for which people would pay. Making use of those skills could generate additional income.
Put skills to use
Some of us already have skills that we do not use. For example, we may know how to do gardening but we work at a hotel; we may have done carpentry in our younger days but now our source of income is in another area. If you already have a skill, why not use it to make extra money? Another option is to become a teacher of a subject you already know. If you are an accountant or a refrigeration technician, why not generate extra income by teaching those skills? Online tutoring can be done with almost no cash outlay. All you need are a computer, internet connection, and the will to do it. In the case of younger men who may be just now learning one skill, now may be the right time to consider branching out into other subject areas. In that way, there is something to fall back on if your main source of income fails.
Multiple income streams
Whatever the situation may be, for us men, now is the time. We live in a difficult environment. The days of having just one job and one source of income may be behind us. As men, we have to adapt to the new reality and do whatever it takes to survive and provide for those who depend on us.
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