It’s been a while since we talked money. And yes I am still poor, no change there – surprise surprise. Ed McMahon hasn’t show up at my door with a big check telling me I have won Publisher’s Clearinghouse (dating myself here…), and hubby’s disability was denied AGAIN. At the hearing level. What does that mean? It means that we have a pretty low chance of it being approved- ever. He has plan B in the works, but until then we are poor. And I have in some ways gotten use to worrying about money over the years, we’ve been poor for many many years- though admittedly not as poor as we have been the past 5 years. Anyway none of that is the point….
I am so tired of the way people treat you when you are poor. Especially how they treat you when you are getting “help” otherwise known as WELFARE it’s a dirty word. A word people whisper. In fact it’s a word of a gone by era. They call it other things now, food stamps are now supplemental nutrition assistance program, and there is TANF, temporary aid to needy families. The names have changed but the way people look at those in line to spend their food stamps haven’t. They scrutinize what’s in your cart.
People in the community and on television say mean and nasty things about people receiving the help. Calling them lazy, losers, moochers. Drains on society. Assume they all sorts of things about “those people”.
The workers at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). They are anything by human and certainly not HUMANE. In the waiting room is a huge poster with a cartoon spy with a magnifying glass requesting people keep an eye out for people defrauding the system and report them. It’s a very intimidating place. To a young person I can imagine it would be scary. To me, it incenses me. They too scrutinize your every word, they look at you with disgust. I get they are low paid, over worked employees of the state, but kindness is free. And I would be willing to bet the majority of people coming through their doors do not want to be there.
I am tired of being judged because of where my life has taken me. I am tired of people looking down on me and assuming I am a lazy, drain on society. I have mental illness, I have enough to worry about, I don’t need to worry about the fact that my being poor is yet another thing that makes me different from everyone else around me. I already live the fact that it makes my life harder.
So next time you see someone swipe their food stamps card give them a smile not a smirk. If you hear someone lambasting the “welfare rats” remind them most people don’t want to be there. And most importantly remember- kindness is always free.
Until next time.