Sunday, October 12, 2008

Be Careful On The Way Up...It's A Long Way Down.

Back during the "good old days" when both of us were working full time, I used to wonder why people on welfare didn't just "get a job" and stop mooching off the government. The very least they could do was to finish their education and TRY to make something of themselves. It infuriated me because I worked with children and over 90% of their parents were receiving government assistance. And those parents kept reproducing, leaving the state to pick up the tab. Why couldn't these people just get off the gravy train and do something for themselves and quit abusing the system?

I'm ashamed to say I actually thought those things. If our experience from plenty to lean has taught me anything, it is most certainly compassion and humility. I really feel in my heart that the Lord has humbled me through this experience.

It never occured to me that perhaps some people had disabilities that prevented them from working. And then I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. In my thirties.

It never occured to me that not everyone was given the upbringing that I experienced. My parents worked hard and always made sure I had the best of everything. I was fed, clothed, and given a higher education in a loving, Christian home.

It never occured to me that one financial blow in the form of no insurance in a health crisis could literally wipe a family out financially.

It never occured to me at all because all of my life I had been taken care of. Born into care. That's something I took for granted for all of my life until this experience. My shame over this has moved me to tears more than once this week. How could I have been so callous? What in the world made me think I was so much better because I was educated and had a well-paying job? Who did I think I was?

All I can say is I am glad I am no longer that person.


Single Mom, Single Money said...

Your post almost brought me to tears! While I never had to readjust my thinking, I was one of those people on the system. The day my then 16-month-old daughter was diagnosed with autism, I quit my job to shuttle her back and forth to the various doctors and treatments etc. I went to school and finished my degree before she got to kindergarten so that I could be a stay at home mom, which was hard under the circumstances. Being on the system allowed my daughter make tremendous strides. Then again, I never really felt bad because I have been working steady since the age of 16 and figured I contributed enough - now it was my turn to use some of what I had paid into for so many years.

You're so right. We do tend to frown our noses at people until we become of one those people. Great post!

Budget Mama said...

This was a good post.

Due to my son's special needs, I can't work a full-time job and barely able to work a part-time job. I'm on the road 275miles a week, shuttling him between 4 different therapists. The medical and therapy bills have really hit us hard.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Bouncing Back said...

Thanks for putting me on your blog list, I will do the same when I update my list. This is a great post. I think many of us have had to re-adjust our way of thinking! It can also be a hard and painful lesson for some of us to re-adjust our thinking. I know I've struggled with the same.