• Staci Sweet

The Ungrateful Freelancer

In a report by the Pew Research Center entitled, ‘A Global Middle Class: More Promise Than Reality’; they discussed ‘what it means to be poor or low income1’ from a global perspective. Poor is described as someone that is expected to make less than $2 a day; that’s $62 a month and less than $750 annually. Poor countries like India live on less than that. When I read that, immediately I understood why platforms like Upwork®, Elance®, and Fiverr® are flooded with international freelancers. Fiverr® freelancers, in particular, will do most creative tasks like designing a logo or even a book cover for as little as $5 bucks. If you live in a third world country, you can bid for the job at an unusually low price and triple your expected daily income.

The Freelancing Game

Though I’ll admit, when I originally signed up, I was insulted at the rates and here's why. Those looking to hire a freelancer would provide a lengthy job description; of which, included asking a myriad of questions that have to be answered in order to apply. But here’s the thing. The job description is crafted in such a way, that in order to complete the application process, you have to do a portion of the work. And not only that, but the description insinuates that you have to bid at a ridiculously low rate just to be considered. As an American with an abundance of opportunities; even minimum wage opportunities, you have the freedom to pick and choose the postings; simply because you know you live in a 'land of opportunity.' But if you’re in a third world country, where you’re only expected to make $1.90 a day; you’ll snatch every available opportunity – even if you have to do the work while you apply. You’re thinking is different because you’re looking at each post with eager anticipation; like ‘I gotta be on my freelancing grind.’ Where here in the States, we roll our eyes and scroll to the next with an attitude; saying things like, ‘I wish I would’ or ‘they’re asking too much!

As I write this post, I see how ungrateful and prideful I’ve been. Ungrateful in the sense that I didn’t value the opportunity these sites afford and proud because I thought I was too good to jump through creative hoops. But after reading that report, writing this post, and humbling myself, I can now see the goodness of God. Only God would give someone the wisdom to create freelancing platforms like Upwork®, Elance®, and Fiverr® so that His impoverished children could have access to opportunities most take for granted. Only God, would empower the poor with the technical wherewithal to provide for their families. The fact that I'm able to write this post on my laptop, in a well lit room with indoor plumbing and air conditioning is nothing but the mercy of God. And this is what I’ll continue to think about as I scroll through the job postings.

The next time I want to complain about money, I’ll think about that hot $2 a day someone is making. The next time I leave my water bottle at home so I don’t have to lug it to the bus stop, I’ll think about the women who have to carry their children on their backs just to get a jug of water from a well that’s miles away. Perhaps you should do the same. The next time you’re on your way to work and you want to complain about the fact that they mistreat you, don't appreciate you or even gripe about the price of gas, while you drive on a paved road in your air conditioned car to an indoor facility filled with easy access to vending machines; think about the mother who didn't have enough food to feed her children before she has to walk miles to do work in a hot field or warehouse that’ll take her two days to make what you’re about to spend for one gallon of gas.

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please forgive me. I’ve been ungrateful and full of pride. I’ve complained and I am so sorry. Lord, teach me how to see, value, and appreciate your God given opportunities; no matter how small or insignificant they seem. In Jesus’ name.

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SOURCE: 1 "A Global Middle Class Is More Promise than Reality." Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project RSS. N.p., 08 July 2015. Web. 09 July 2015.