Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SICKO

Ok, so I've actually procrastinated greatly in watching this movie. Not that I didn't think I'd like it, but because I knew it would just get me 10 kinds of pissed off and I need to be in a certain frame of mind to deal with that.

I'll first start off by saying to all of you who think Michael Moore is a lying dirtbag that while I do totally see that some of the things he says are twisted slightly for his own agenda, I do think the guy has the interest of the American people at heart with his documentaries and he has a lot more kahunas than most of us do in standing up for the little guy. If you are one of those who vehemently despises everything he is, I say to you, my friend....... grow some kahunas yourself and then talk to me, because I don't see you out there standing up for anything.

With that said I'll get to my own point.

The movie, oddly, didn't piss me off. It made me quite sad and ashamed to live in this country to be all honest. It all goes back to the "me me me" attitude. We seem to have some idiotic idea in this country that the people who happen to live in our own homes are the only ones we should be caring for and about. What happened to it taking a village to raise a child? When did the need for that go away? In many other countries, third world and very powerful countries alike, this adage still exists and is still practiced. When a child is born in many countries all of the elder women in the community will give of themselve and help the new mother and child. They cook for them, clean for them, usually for months on end. They do this without seeking anything in return. They do this because it was done for them, because taking care of the community is important for it's survival.

Why do we see ourselves as such different creatures? Why do we not care about our communities and each other? We say we do, sure. But when it comes down to it, we don't. If we did, we wouldn't have children without food and water when some of us have a surplus. We wouldn't have children who can't go to the doctor, or dentist.

Because if we cared, those of us with a little more would even the scales by giving to those of us with a little less.

I hear it said "well why should those people get a handout? They should be working hard to take care of their children that THEY brought into this world!"

Isn't that an ignorant statement! Most of these people DO work, and they work hard. Do you think the woman who works 3 waitressing jobs with a bad hip works less hard than you do? Do you think she's being lazier than you or somehow trying to buck the system and take advantage of someone? She works twice as hard and twice as many hours as some of us yet likely gets no health insurance, no sick pay, no vacation time, no 401k. Not to mention she makes under $3 per hour.

How can we look at this woman and say that she, for some reason doesn't deserve the medications to keep her alive? She should have gone to college and educated herself so she could have a higher paying job with benefits! You might say. If someone is struggling financially, it MUST be because they screwed up, right? So they should get themselves out of it.

Have you ever stopped think about that? Do you think that woman WANTS to bust her ass for $3 an hour? Do you think she doesn't spend every waking moment trying to figure out a way to get into a better job?

You hear it time and time again. "I'm so sick of people bucking the system and taking MY tax money!" How stupid and closed minded that statement is. We see things in black and white. You know what? This is shocking too.... those people PAY TAXES TOO! Most people on the food stamp, medicaid, WIC rolls work and pay the SAME percentage of their income to the tax man as you do! And you know, some of them have paid more in taxes than you have over the years! We think they just sit on their asses watching Oprah and eating bon bons that WE, the TAXPAYERS have to pay for.

We sure have humongous egos in this country. We take credit for a lot of things we don't do....

Most of us would have a FIT if we were asked to pay the fireman before he'd turn his hose on and save our home. We would have a FIT if we went to the public library and were told we had to pay before we could take a book home. We would most certainly have a fit if we were told that our children could not attend public school without tuition. There would be riots in the streets! Those things are a public RIGHT! We wouldn't dream of allowing our house to burn down if we didn't have a few hundred dollars in our pocket at the time. Yet we will let people, CHILDREN even, die preventable deaths because they can't pay. Where our our brains?

Most of us, if we were injured at work wouldn't hesitate to file for workman's comp or SSI. We pay into that for that reason, and we certainly don't look down on anyone who uses it. But we look down on the people who get food stamps because they lost their job. How does THAT make any sense? They paid into that program too, and now they are made to feel ashamed for using it?!

I'm sure most of us aren't so blatently obvious as to, when we hear of a 3 year old who died because her parents couldn't afford her medications, to say "oh, well that serves her right! Maybe her parents should have done something about it!" Most of us wouldn't have the audacity to say that. But we say it with our actions. We say it by signing petitions prohibiting lawmakers from raising our taxes, we say it in so many ways. And our children watch us to follow in our footsteps later on. They will grow up cold, distant, with little respect for human life too. Just like we taught them. How proud we will all be.

We don't really give much thought to people less fortunate than us. Either we shun them and assume that they have done something to be that way, or that they are lazy or something and that allows the comfort of sleeping at night having done nothing to help. Because if we convince ourselves they are the bad guy, we can feel good about not doing anything. Or we assume our tax dollars are enough to help and they should be happy we pay them. Or maybe we give to charity, or to the church. It's ok if we have 4 cars because we gave $100 to a charity last month. We've done the right thing, we've made god happy with our tithe, and now we can rest easy.

We need to even the balance. The haves should be helping the have-nots financially, the have-nots can then in turn gain self esteem and skills and soon, they are helping us too. But it's soo much easier to keep them repressed isn't it? It's so much nicer to feel better than somebody. Admit it, it feels good to pull up next to an old beat up car at a stop light and look down at your GPS system and think "gosh, I'm so glad I'm not that guy, he needs to get a clue"

Gosh yeah, that's nice. And don't pay any nevermind to the child dying of cancer because SOMEBODY will help her, right? I mean that's what welfare is for..... and I pay my taxes dammit!

Get with the program, stop living in your "me bubble" and do something. Our economy is in the toilet, gas prices are through the roof, the old people are starting to talk about the great depression again... tomorrow, you could lose your job. Tomorrow, your child could get diagnosed with a disease and the only possiblity to save him could be a treatment insurance won't pay for. You could lose your home trying to pay for it. You could be standing in line at the soup kitchen or the welfare office. You could be in a car accident and be unable to work.

I know this post is all over the place. I'm tired, everyone is sick here and I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because some people just don't get it. Some people just don't care, or they care conditionally, or maybe they are just too stupid to see that human life is human life, I don't know. It's frustrating.

And I'm getting increasingly frustrated with it lately. I see Hailey, a 12 year old CHILD spending at least an hour after school every night returning emails and writing posts for Alexander's heart She has dedicated herself to this solely for the purpose of reaching out to children who need someone. She doesn't even think for a second that she should make any money for doing this, she doesn't think for a second that the little boy from Idaho who's dad died deserves anything less than she does. Yet the rest of us do. To her he's an equal, to us he's less than we are because he gets food stamps. But by golly, we can only hope that someday our children grow up with the values we've instilled in them. We can only hope they learn from us and maybe they can be the cold, self absorbed, narrow minded hedonists we always dreamed they would.......

1 comment:

melody is slurping life said...

Hi Kat,

I received your daughter's email giving her precious award to me. I am sitting here in tears. I've been reading her blog. Hailey is clearly an amazing, caring and intelligent little girl. I'm trying to gather my thoughts, my words, but didn't want to wait to say how much her presenting me with Alexander's award means.

I'll be responding to her email within the next couple of days and, of course, blogging about her, the blog, award and Alexander. I am honored. If only we as adults had the caring maturity of Hailey.

Your family is beautiful. You, as parents, are raising loving, giving children who "get it".