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25.10.11

Leper on Society

     It is no misconception that people look down on those on welfare/food stamps/public assistance. I myself had a poor attitude to those who were on these programs. Wait, nix that. I had a poor attitude towards those who ABUSE these programs. The people who are able to work and refuse to. The people who get a house for cheap prices because they are on welfare, while I struggle to keep my head afloat in a newer trailer that I am buying. People who sell their food stamps (or however that works) so they can get alcohol or illegal substances. People who do not need grants for education, but lie on applications so that they get "free money". 

     I now see how these poor attitudes and stereotypes hurt those people who genuinely need the assistance. I now understand why it is a difficult thing to swallow your pride and admit you are not making it, due to some unforeseen circumstance; be it job loss, death of spouse, or disability. 

     Where is this coming from? Tomorrow, I am applying for food stamps. I have never had the need for public assistance, and never thought that I would have to go down to that office--the Welfare Building. I had a job that paid well, considering I didn't have a college degree. I may have loathed the job, but I still did what was asked of me--often times beyond what was asked of me. Yet, I was still fired. No, not laid off... Fired. So needless to say, it is now nerve wrecking to wait for unemployment to come through. Since I am buying my own home, I am terrified of losing it... Not to mention this puts a big damper on my future plans of relocating across country. 

       A very big damper.

     I went off course with what I was saying, hadn't I? Oh yes. Since I've never had to go to the Welfare building or have known anyone who has used food stamps, I googled it. Well, googled what I could buy and where. Of course, I punished myself by reading the negative comments that was left by some of the people. Saying that we (people who need assistance) are leeches. Or that we are stealing their money, when they could use the money themselves for their own families. Or that the tax payers should have a say in how the money (food stamps) are being spent on. 

     It was de-humanizing. I can honestly say that it broke my spirit. Not because people were saying how they felt, but because I once thought the same way. Maybe not so harshly, but in some degree. I couldn't understand why if someone was able to work, chose not to. Why should my hard earned money go to people who did not work for it? It never occurred to me that maybe they did work for it. Maybe they did pay into unemployment and now they have no choice but to collect. Maybe they feel the same trepidation when they needed to ask for government assistance. Now that I am on the other end of the stick, I am remorseful of how negatively I seen the assistance programs. 

      I can only hope that my unemployment is approved. I can only hope that I am able to get food stamps so that I can feed my house hold. I can only hope that I get call backs from the applications I've sent in. I've worked hard for what little I have. I don't want to lose it. I can't lose it. The only good thing I have going for me right now is school. I am trying to make a better life for myself. I just hope that this bump in the road, gets settled soon...

2 comments:

Dessiree said...

I recently got into a very massive argument with someone else over assistance programs. I still feel all of those negative things you speak of, but it differs about who it's directed towards. For someone like you, or the thousands of others who were laid off or have real disabilities, I think the assistance should be there. I have recently realized I have more of a socialist mentality than I used to think.

It's the people who abuse it, and there are SO SO many, that the problems arise. I think the guidelines need to be stricter, and it should be used as a life line for someone who really needs it, not a way of life for someone who's a leech.

I know so many people who are on assistance, and there are some who honestly need it, and there are the ones who are lazy losers who try things like having kids because they don't want to work (I have a family member who is doing that). They fake disabilities (which only gives a bad name to disability and the people who really need it), lie about everything, and live off every other person but themselves. Those people deserve to be helped to a certain extent (because I believe we have to help everyone, no matter their means), but it should be limited. I don't have a problem with tax money going to people who need help, but the laws and guidelines need to be updated. Our government is much too old fashioned and that's one of the reasons America is pretty much crumbling apart right now.

Dessiree said...

And do NOT be ashamed of being on assistance! If assistance wasn't out there I don't know where I would be. Almost my entire childhood we were on assistance because my parents struggled big time. I didn't even realize we were on assistance until I got older. There's NO shame in needing help. We all have bumps we have to climb over.

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