No Salary Ever Made Me Stop Reaching for My Dreams

by on November 14, 2023 · 3 comments

in From the Soul

By Ernie McCray

I read somewhere that
“A salary is the amount your employer
pays you to forget your dreams.”
And my take on the idea is
are you kidding me,
with some of the poorly paying jobs I had early in my life,
sweeping and mopping
and buffing and dusting
in between
wiping tears from my eyes
and cussing?

These gigs

kept my sight on my dreams

with the focus

of a hungry predator

looking to sink its teeth

into an easy prey,

and not only that

I had an employer,

a school system,

that wrote me monthly checks

that gave me the wherewithal,

although barely, at first,

to live out my dreams,

let alone abandon them,

my dream to own a home

wherein I could

feed and clothe my family,

my dream to have a voice

in my community

through writing

and acting

and political and social


and most of all

my employment

enabled me to fulfill my biggest life dream,

besides living to a ripe old age,

that dream being to work with children,

to use my and their life experiences

as a guide

to opening the world

to our scrutiny

helping them to turn

it inside out

and learn to understand

its complexities

and its subtleties,

its truths and its lies.


Nothing, salary or otherwise,

could have taken my eyes

off this dream,

this reaching for the stars,

because it was sought after to,

in some small way,

keep hope alive.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas L Gayton November 17, 2023 at 8:37 pm



Shirley Sprinkles November 18, 2023 at 5:44 am

So proud of all of your accomplishments!


BARBARA LEWIS November 19, 2023 at 2:15 pm

And, so you did in a most “wonderful” and “loving” way.


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