…and it is my pleasure to meet you.
A Facebook “friend” of mine recently made a statement about welfare recipients that struck a chord with me. The status said something to the effect of “people on welfare are lazy and our taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be wasted on people who choose to continuously birth babies they know they cannot afford to take care of”. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions BUT that “friend” has since been deleted.
People are so quick to speak disparagingly about welfare recipients without giving any real thought behind their statements. Most who condemn those who are on welfare are silver-spoon babies of the upper-middle class who simply cannot fathom the idea of getting a “handout”. ((& yes, that is a generalization)) I didn’t get a car for my 16th birthday… or for my high school graduation… or a car paid for by any relative at all. Period. I didn’t get a grand princess wedding paid for by my father. I didn’t get my first job because my parents were able to pull some strings with their high-rolling buddies. I didn’t have everything conceivable growing up… unless that everything includes a drug-addicted mother, a multitude of hand-me-down clothes, a bedroom shared with 4 siblings, and a growling stomach.
Ignorance is bliss… however, I cannot wrap my mind around the sheer ignorance that this country continues to have in regards to welfare recipients. There is a preconceived notion that everyone on welfare is black (which is another post entirely), lazy, drug addicted, and irresponsible.
I find it disgusting that anyone would fix their mouth to condemn someone who NEEDS assistance. I agree there MAY be some individuals who get complacent on government assistance… and that should be frowned upon; However, there are some (like myself) who have no desire to remain reliant on the government. At the same time, it is my RIGHT to be able to depend on MY government during my time of need.
& right now, I am in need.
I am a full-time college student. I am a mother of 2. I am a wife. I am a full-time employee of an upscale hotel on Miami Beach. What I am not, by ANY definition of the word, is LAZY. The mere assumption that I would be because my ends do not meet due to current economic strain and my husband’s unavoidable layoff from a GOVERNMENT job due to budget cuts is utterly ridiculous.
I am also NOT a drug addict. I have NEVER tried ANY drug throughout my 26 years on this earth. I have never even smoked a cigarette. Nor am I irresponsible.
However, I am a citizen of this great country who has paid taxes ever since I got my first job senior year of high school and if I am on welfare, the pitied glances and snide remarks should not be breathed in my direction. Or anyone’s direction for that matter.
You don’t know my story && whether you can relate to it or not is irrelevant. You should never make decisions about someone’s character based off of what appears to be true. See a woman with 5 kids in the grocery store— yep, she must be a lazy bum on welfare. See a group of black guys walk by your car— lock your door because they want to rob you. See a muslim— omg! It’s a terrorist! See a black man in a wheelchair—yep, he was shot in some gang war. It’s really ridiculous.
If it were not for food stamps, my family would starve.
If it were not for Medicaid, my children would be dead.
I am not embarrassed by the current state my life is in. Some people allow the negative remarks of others to make them crawl into a hole and hide from the world. I choose to speak out. Some people are too prideful to get on welfare. I cannot relate to that feeling at all. I am proud of the fact that I am able to feed my children. I am proud that I am able to provide a roof over their heads. I am proud that they can rely on me to take them to the doctor when they are sick. I am proud to be a part of a country that allows me to receive assistance until my husband and I are able to take care of ourselves once again.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.
Some are blessed to be able to depend on their parents…
and others receive said blessing from the government.
Welfare has changed my life and soon it will be a part of my history as I advance towards greater things. My children will know what hard work is because they see their parents working hard. My children will grow to be successful adults and productive members of society because they are blessed with parents who have the ability to see beyond their present situation and make positive moves towards a brighter future.
My children may very well end up being silver-spoon babies… because I am working hard to ensure a brighter tomorrow for them– but they will not be so out of touch with reality and the world around them that I will allow them to forget where they have come from.
Humble beginnings produce HUMBLE people.
Thank You America!
From the heart of a not so lazy mother on welfare. ♥