Saturday, January 28, 2017

Stigma and the Poor

Stigma is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and something that I have to address over and over and over.

I have heard and seen many people that are close to me and that I once considered friends spew hate and disdain about people accepting government assistance. When confronted, they always say the same thing: "Oh, I didn't mean you." Yes, you did. You just don't want to admit it. I am a person that needs "government assistance" to survive.

They say: People on government assistance have never worked.
Fact: I worked from the day I turned 16 until I became disabled at age 31, the majority of that time spent in upper management.
They say: My tax dollars pay for their lives.
Fact: While working my entire adult life, I paid taxes. My taxes went to programs that, since I can no longer work, help me and my family to survive. As they should.
They say: People on food stamps eat better than I do.
Fact: It is extremely hard to feed a family of 5 on food stamps.

One of my daughters has been praised over and over again for doing so well in speech therapy. This speech therapy is provided free to anyone that needs it through the government.

Another daughter needed therapy as a baby due to being born with extremely stiff muscles and joints in her legs and feet. Again, this therapy is provided by the government free to anyone that needs it.

When did this civilized country become a country that treats it poor as the dirt on the bottom of their shoes? In the olden days, people came together to help each other survive. Now, the poor are discarded, forgotten except for a few that work as hard as they can with barely any materials to help make others' lives a little easier.

If you are looking for a great way to give back to your community and to help the forgotten, a great group is Be a Blessing Birmingham.

If you have not walked even a few steps our shoes, you cannot even begin to imagine our lives, our meager dreams, our worries. Was there ever a time in your life you worried where your next meal would come from, if you had enough gas to get to work until payday, how you would get proper medical care when you were sick?  Think back on those times. Times may be good for you now. That is absolutely wonderful and I am genuinely happy for you. I just ask that you not forget those times of long past when community came together to help each other survive, help each other succeed, and cheered each other on when goals and milestones were met.

We need that time back. We need to remember that helping our fellow man isn't a crime. We need to step out of our comfort zones to help those in need. It is true what they say, the poorest people have the biggest hearts. Homeless people constantly help each other survive, when they have barely more than the clothes on their back.

I am a part of the poor of America. I have decided to take a stand and help my fellow man any way that I can, starting with the above-mentioned group, Be a Blessing Birmingham, on Facebook. I am a Christian, and the Word of God says that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Will you love them, too?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Silence Gets You Nowhere

I have always been the type of person to keep her opinions to herself. With the way things have gone in our country over the last few years, however, that is changing.

I can no longer be silent. I can no longer sit idly by and watch things that disgust me happen. Every day I see the ignorance, the hate.

I am a novice knitter and am going to start knitting hats for pussyhatproject.com. I was invited to go to the march in Washington DC, but sadly because of my many illnesses and conditions, I was unable to attend. This broke my heart. I wanted so badly to be able to participate in this historic event. So, I began searching online for a way I could help, and found the Pussy Hat Project's web site. Now I can assist in a cause I truly believe in.

Don't stay silent! There is more than one way to help any cause you are passionate about if you just do a little research. I'll be ordering my supplies soon and I can't wait to get started on these hats.

What are you passionate about?