Let’s be honest here. The past six months or so has been miserable. Money is short. I’m neither eating well, nor healthy. I can’t afford it. I’ve not had a steak or piece of beef since December 27. I get a little chicken about once a month. What little protein I do get comes from beans and cheese. To make matters worse, I’ve been very limited to what I could cook. You see, I have problems…. and sorta’ caught my oven on fire. I was finally able to buy what I call an easy bake oven, a refurbished Cuisinart toaster oven. That is going to help, considerably, not that I can afford any form of meat. I want a pizza so bad I can’t stand it.
The other day I was in a meeting until late in the afternoon, past the time when one of the local restaurants closed out their lunch menu. I had not slept, was exhausted, and went to the grocery store. I can’t afford pre-cooked. Everything I buy must be prepared. It’s cheaper. It would be even cheaper if I had room to store things in the freezer, but I don’t. I was so tired, I had some chips, salsa and guac. That was about it. I went to bed around 11PM, which is incredibly early for me. The following morning, even though I slept, I was exhausted and almost hysterical.
I started thinking about women who have families, and are receiving food assistance – SNAP. You can basically buy anything that needs to be prepared. You cannot buy hot food. In other words, after the woman spends a long day working – and most people on SNAP have jobs, she must go home, and cook a meal, usually a two hour process. BTW: You can’t buy laundry detergent, toothpaste, soap, or even toilet paper. You can’t buy diapers, feminine products, or even deodorant.
Just the thought of the way we treat the ‘deserving’ poor is starting to get to me. You see, I’ve walked many a mile in their shoes. Once upon a time, I was a major supporter of our local food bank. Now, thought, I think they should all be closed. The worst thing you can do is make someone go begging for food, to well meaning people who hold their well-being in their fingers. It is wrong and it is degrading.
Christ taught that what we did to the least of them we do to him. In other words, as a nation, we are giving him the shaft. We treat the least among us like dirt. We are cruel, and somehow vindictive. It is is as though, as a nation, we must make people pay for being poor, for not being wealthy, and not living up to the expectations of the Great American Dream. If your circumstances in life are reduced, it is your fault for not working hard enough. It must be that person’s fault. If not, something bad could happen to the person who is casting slings and arrows of abject hatred at those of us in reduced circumstances. It is so much better to hate those in need. If bad things happen to people, causing them to be in need, then anyone could be in danger. No, it’s better to treat people who need help like they are dirt, they did something wrong, and ruined their own lives.
So much for love.
Try thinking about that poor woman. I did. It left me in tears, almost hysterical. What have we done to the least of them in this nation? What have we done – pure unadulterated shit, that’s what we have done to them. I fully understand why people who are in reduced circumstances give up on life, spiraling into depression and suicide. There are many days when death is a viable alternative. Trust me, I know all about those feelings.