I apologize that my posts are so scattered and far apart, but I find myself censoring a lot of the thoughts that go through my head and trying to filter through what would be a good topic and what wouldn’t. Today I overheard a conversation that I thought would be a good place to start this particular topic. I won’t go into the whole conversation, but the topic itself was concerning clothing vouchers. This person was going on about how much of an inconvenience it was to have to go shopping and deal with the people who have them, and how wrong it was that the clothes weren’t taxed for people who received that assistance.
This ties in to several posts that I have made on Facebook in the past about the way that society treats anyone who receives assistance from the government. So, I have a few points to make on this entire subject.
First, my primary question has always been – why is it your business if someone is receiving assistance? Do you know their life story? Do you know if they are sick or disabled? To this I’ve often heard comments along the lines of, “Just look at them. You can tell there’s nothing wrong with them!” Oh, really? So you can tell the person who is manic depressive, who has tried to take their lives multiple times, is just hunky dory by watching them walk into Wal-Mart?
Not every diseases manifests in a physical way, and not all health problems are 24/7. My brother has a health condition called Myastenia Gravis, and this thing attacks his body on a different degree every day. You might see him one day and he’s fine, and see him the next day and he can barely walk.
So, let’s assume that you’re right. There is no health condition stopping this person from working, but they still receive government assistance. “They should get off their butt and work a job. I’m tired of supporting them!”
I have a friend who works more than full time hours, his wife works full time hours, and they have three children. To afford a home, cars, food, etc they still have to lean on government assistance.
What about the single mother with three children who receives food stamps, clothing vouchers, and Medicaid? She’s working two jobs, feels like she only gets to see her babies for bed time, and wonders if she’s failing her children even more by working these hours just to be able to afford a roof over their heads.
Are these things considered when we, as a society, make this rash judgment that everyone who is receiving assistance is just a drain on society.
What bothers me even more is it often seems that these sentiments are ones that are expressed by fellow Christians. You know, those of us who are taught Love thy neighbor. This is not meant to literally mean the person who lives beside you. It’s supposed to be for us to love everyone.
Something else I often hear, and I won’t deny this is problem as I see it everyday in my little community, is why should the tax payers support the druggies and pillheads?
This might be a little harder for some of you to swallow, and I’m going to come at this from a Christian perspective as that’s the way I think about it. Instead of just complaining about the junkies and gossiping about them, have you tried to help them?
Have you offered them food or drink? Have you offered to be their ride to a rehab facility? Have you offered to even do something as simple as pray with them?
I know I’ve gotten slightly off topic here, and I do apologize for that, but to me these things wrap together and are all part of the same huge topic, this problem we have with judging each other based on what are very superficial levels. When are we going to stop seeing each other by what we have, what we need, what level we fall into economically, and just see each other as human beings?