Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't pity the poor

I watched CNN this morning and they did a special on the poor.
When I say I "watched" it, what I mean is I listened to it. I listen to CNN in my sleep and lay awake after the alarm goes off and don't open my eyes until the snooze goes off again.
So as I was listening to the report on the poverty in America, and all the hatred this nation has for the poor. As if poor was a choice.
There was one lady who was poor all her life and just got stuck in that lifestyle, brought kids in the world, into that lifestyle. Now those kids are living that lifestyle, the statistics of those kids making it out of that lifestyle are slim.
I am poor. My family is poor. We have a roof over our head but we are poor. We have internet that we really do struggle to pay each month, along with all our other bills but we are poor. My children and I have Medicaid and get food stamps and we live in an apartment above my mom. My mom doesn't have health insurance and I wished she did. So many people think you automatically get free healthcare just because you are an Indian, but that's not true. That is true if you choose to live on the reservation but once you move off, the healthcare doesn't exist. And you can ask anyone that lives on the rez, the healthcare isn't the greatest.
I am poor, but not as poor as some people, but according to the charts and graphs, yes I am.
I have met people homeless. I have met people who live either without water, plumbing, electricity, and/ or heat. Some people don't care and will make a home out of a broken down trailer. They try to make it as cozy and comfy as can because it's theirs. Have you ever taken the time to sit and talk to some of these people. I have. I have talked to them, hired them, and had a beer or two with them. I had neighbors who didn't have electricity. Sometimes they cooked on top of their wood stove, sometimes they cooked outside on a grill or a fire pit.
Sure they drank everyday, but seriously their chances of getting a real job, like everyone bitches about poor people getting off their asses and getting a job, were slim. Think of the homeless and poor and their hygiene and tell me you would give them a 9 to 5. They drink because it is their escape from their life as it is now. The hope they have is just to make it through one day to the next so they could scheme again for that next drink to make them forget the real struggle of trying to fit in a world that hates them.
My neighbor could fix any car and put a fence up in a couple of hours. He could light a furnace, winterize your house and whatever other small job was needed. And at times when people I knew stole from my house, such as steaks out of my neighbor would watch my house if I wasn't there.
He was poor but him and his wife would have given me their last cup of coffee.
I am not writing this because I believe the poor need pity. Believe me that is the last thing they want is pity. I am writing this to let you know, don't hate them. They didn't draw a picture of a poor person in 1st grade and say "When I grow up I want to be poor so America can hate me." No, they drew a picture of a singer, a rock star, a teacher, an artist, and in my case, a cashier (for real) too. They had dreams and somewhere along the way, those dreams dimmed until they ceased to burn anymore and the only dream was to exist in this world, as a poor person.
Don't hate poor people, don't pity them, just understand they never wanted to be poor.
After all, not everyone can be as lucky as you are. Remember just because you might have your menu planned for the next two weeks or just for tonight, just because you ain't feeling the hard times that are happening, doesn't mean there aren't people out there struggling on a daily basis.


Michelle Mabelle said...

Amen, yo.

Anonymous said...

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Dana Dane said...


Daisy said...

I just now caught this... I love this post. I don't think people take the time to try to understand the plight of others, whether they be due to addiction, poverty, mental illness, or unforeseen life circumstances. You break my heart with your words, but you also simultaneously make it smile...