Once again, I was reading the Huffington Post, and once again, some bigot in government said that people who use welfare or food stamps or some program or other are “freeloaders”. I have moved past the point of caring whether he or she thinks nothing bad ever happens to anybody. It does.
People lose their jobs. People are affected by racism or sexism or all kinds of problems which make it hard to get hired or paid a decent living. People give up. People have mental illness. People have physical illness. People get struck by lightning, or their house is hit by a tornado, or an earthquake. Sometimes they trusted someone who wasn’t trustworthy with their money or sometimes they made actual poor choices, but paid more than their fair share of consequences. Some people don’t have bootstraps any more. Some people are born into poverty and don’t know any other life. Some people are abused and need a place to live. Some people were abandoned and don’t have clothes or a house. Some babies are born with diseases that deform them. Some seniors have dementia and can’t take care of themselves. Some people in the middle have car accidents and are hurt or die.That’s pretty much everyone.
“Into each life, some rain must fall”, they say. It’s true. To think that you are above the fray is to deny reality — unless you are above the fray. It takes a lot of money these days to stay “above the fray”. If you’re able to, be thankful — and generous — because you’re lucky. It’s not true for others.
But since people do get sick or hungry or homeless — even if it’s not all of us — we had better put some money aside for them. All that most politicians have to do to see this is go to their own districts and look around. All that any of us have to do is go to “that” section of town and open our eyes. Surely, they can’t all be freeloaders. In fact, I would suspect that most of them aren’t.
If your kid were hungry, wouldn’t you want to be able to get them food? If you were homeless, for whatever reason, wouldn’t you want a place to live? Why, then, should others suffer and be mocked for it? If you couldn’t get out of bed, for whatever reason, would you want your family to be left out in the cold?
Enough already. Regardless of what people think, there is need and we’d better address it. And if that makes them freeloaders, then so be it — freeloaders, just like us.