Tag Archive: poverty

In God We Trust

What does it mean? Really, does it mean spending our dollars making bombs and listening to American’s phone conversations or does it mean feeding our children, educating them, giving them a future? Have we even read our bibles? Have we even looked ourselves in the eye and ever asked the questions what would Jesus do? What would he do? We know what he would have done. He would have taken the hungry to a river sat them by the riverside and fed them. He would have said blessed are those who are poor in spirit instead of institutionalizing them. He could raise the dead not drop bombs on them. Who the hell do we think we are?

We have thrown so much money to the rich banks controlling our countries finances but we bemoan feeding hungry children. We spend so much money on the damn warmongering military industrial complex and defense industry while we bemoan buying books or saving football programs in high schools. We gutted arts education in our school, can’t things be beautiful anymore? Can’t we appreciate a hard day of work whether it comes from a banker or a cabinet maker or a hand embroidery artist?

We in a collective way don’t value people anymore. We value rich people who have learned to make their money by stepping on the backs of the people below them. We value sneakers made in China with a celebrities name on it. We value gun makers who make guns capable of shooting down an entire classroom in 5 minutes. What about the visionaries investing in our kids and their futures? Our kids don’t need freaking guns and ammo they need vegetables and books. They need the American dream.

Times have changed, we have changed. But we haven’t changed that much. Men still need a good paying job and an advocate to make sure they keep that job. Kids still need food in their bellies to think while in school, they still need a hug. They still need a trip to a museum every once in a while to remember what it was like when life was simpler. They need to remember when a man woke up in the morning and went out to a field and brought things back to feed his family or when an artist could sit for days and make a masterpiece. We have come so far in this country that unless it is our kid we don’t even care how people feed their families and how to bring back a modicum of dignity to the world.

Now don’t get me wrong the world has shifted and people, ordinary people are starting to remember the way this country was built but we are not led by the visionaries in the small towns, by the charities that feed the poor left behind, nor by the churches that struggle to make people believe. We are being led by the politicians who secretly work for the powerful, for the war mongering military industrial complex. Ten years ago we actually voted for a man who was the CEO of one of the most influential defense contractors in the world. How did that happen? When did we sell our country to nonstop war in foreign lands while our children are starving here? What has happened to our country and where is our moral compass? How did we the people of the United States allow them to steal our country right out from under our feet? We were too busy watching television and being divided down to the lowest common denominator instead of raised up in the all for one mentality. It’s time to get back to the way things used to be with the acknowledgement that people are different, they believe in different ideologies, different beliefs, and different lifestyles. But in the end we really haven’t changed all that much, we still need food, a roof over our head, a good book and someone to love. In other words we still need the American dream and in God we Trust we might just find it.


Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand put a little love in your heart. That is a line in a song by Jackie Deshannon.

Lately I have been in many situations where people are at their lowest point. They are trying and trying but nothing seems to be working out. They are losing hope. It’s easy to lose hope with them. It’s so easy to empathize with just about anybody today, people who have lost their jobs, people who have lost their spouses, people who still have their jobs but are miserable. With the economy the way it is life is really tough for a lot of people.

I was on the line at the supermarket the other day and was behind a woman using food stamps. My heart just went out to her as I watched the cashier condescendingly look at her groceries which she had compartmentalized to the point of 2 items at a time. She looked embarrassed, he looked condescending and I was reminded that no matter how bad we think our lives are the poor in this country have it so much worse.

Is it better to be poor in a poor country or is it better to be poor in one of the richest countries in the world? I might say the poor country because when that is all you know and it is all around you; you can find happiness in a flower or a bit of rain. There is absolute joy mixed in with the hardships of life. But when you are poor in a rich country you are constantly reminded of what a failure you are. When you can’t pay your bills, buy groceries with food stamps, or have to walk because you can’t afford gas in your car, these are all times when life reminds you that you are were not able to make the grade. You are a loser and there is somebody there to remind you of it every minute of your day.

Yes there are charitable organizations and churches to help out and that is a great, great thing but there is also an attitude of I made it why can’t you? The only people who seem to understand how bad things are at the moment are the people who are in the boat with you. The person who lost their job and is struggling to make the business they started stay afloat, the artist who sets up her easel and hopes that someone will buy something, the woman behind you on line at the grocery who is worried because she can’t think of any discernible way to live the life she imagined. We all have pain. We all have sorrow. We all need some help. We all need some kindness and compassion. And to be fair the person who is succeeding needs our kindness and compassion for some of the same reasons the poor do, they are sacrificing daily for their success.

In a few weeks we will decide which person will be the leader of the richest country in the world. I like to think that their policies for the poor and hurting in this country will be the thing that saves the day, but unfortunately I fear that it is our biases for the successful and our disdain for those who are not will actually rule the day and we will end up with more pain for the poor in this country. It’s hard to imagine things getting worse but unfortunately I think they might.

Be kind, be compassionate, the next time you are behind a person with food stamps on a grocery line buy some candy for their kids, smile at them while they try maintain their dignity through the indignity of separating their groceries, and most of all remember that but for the grace of god go I, because just as hard as it is to make it in this country, it is just that easy to lose it all in a heartbeat. Be grateful for every minute breathing also.

The Answer is Love

Whenever you are unsure of your direction in life or politics or anything in-between the answer is love.

When you imagine your own child on the front lines of a war, is the answer war or peace? The answer is love.

When you imagine your child in an abusive relationship needing outside help or a step up the answer is love.

When you imagine your child in a school in the middle of the inner-city where education seems to come with high taxes and no solutions, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child sick with a treatable disease with no health insurance to bring them to the doctor, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child picking up a wrapper some careless slob just threw out of their car, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child drinking polluted water in some third world country, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child marching on the front lines in Syria for freedom, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child sleeping in Israel or Lebanon being scared to death of the sound of bombs and hatred, the answer is love.

When you imagine your child homeless because the adults in his life couldn’t get their acts together, the answer is love.

No matter what the question is, no matter what your ideology is, no matter what your beliefs are the answer is love.

When it is your child that is affected by the actions or inactions of our government the answer is love.  Don’t accept these sorry campaign promises that get lost the minute the politician reaches his destination.  Close your eyes and think but for the grace of god that could be my child being affected by the mistakes of an unsupervised, uncooperative, unimaginative government and the answer is and always will be love.