Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Bad Is It?

[Sorry, don't know where this came from. Just wanted to put it out there.]

Our economy is in a sorry state. People can't afford to heat their homes. Children go with out medicine because it's too expensive. Families skip meals to make the foot last.

I roll my eyes.

Am I heartless? Cruel? Ignorant?

No, I'm observant.

While many struggle to pay their heating bills, they're still partying in New Orleans. They say the Mardi Gras celebration this year is as good as it's been in the past. And that kid who's parents can't afford the meds for his ADHD? Yeah...he got a Wii for Christmas. Oh, don't forget the hungry family who has to visit the food bank. They can't afford the food because they just bought a brand new flat screen TV for their bedroom.

I'm NOT making this up. I KNOW these people. This isn't some story I read on-line. I can take you through my city and show you who these people are because they've admitted it to me.

And that's why I have a problem with the blanket excuses. I understand that there are people out there who have done things right and are getting the short end of the stick. But I also saw a woman in line at Meijer the other day who was using WIC to get her groceries while she talked on her Bluetooth and looked at pictures on a cell phone that's way more expensive than mine.

I'm not about giving my money/food to an organization that will just give it to anyone who comes in with a sob story. There are people who NEED help in America...but until people disconnect their cable, take the cell phones away from the kids, and cut back the unnecessary expenses, don't come crying to me.

Do you realize that my husband had to take almost 10 months off of work? On top of that, we had his medical bills (most of which were covered by insurance, thankfully). But that left us tight. How did we do it?

I cut coupons and use them on sale merchandise (my average payment, not counting produce, is 45% off the regular price...EVERY TIME I grocery shop!). I moved out of my parents' house eight years ago...I had cable for about six months when my roommate ordered it. I've never paid for it, and I don't miss it. I used the internet at the library (we just got our own a few months ago). I collect popcans. If I DO go the movies, I go to matinees on Tuesday, when the popcorn is $0.50 a bucket. I only eat out if I have a BOGO coupon...and I fill up on the salad, bring everything else home, and give the leftovers to my husband for lunches for a week. I've never paid more than $0.99 for my phone (whenever I renew my contract).

With that said, if things got worse for us, I can still cut costs. We can get rid of the cell phones and put in a land line; get rid of the internet (the library still works); we can get sell our cars for older ones, or drop the coverage to the basic. We STILL have options to make it work.

And that's why I don't donate my groceries or my food to generic organizations anymore. There are too many entitled people out there. Too many uneducated, untrained, unwilling to sacrifice people who think they deserve the same life-style as those people who gave up the time and money to earn a degree or get the training needed to make a career and provide for themselves.

So what about those people who DO need the help? The ones who lost their jobs, got sick without insurance, and are scraping by with barely anything? I'm happy to help...I'm happy to give what I can to help how I can.

Some people really are doing everything right and it's just not working. It's time to stop assuming that everyone who says they "need" falls into that category. There's a difference between 'need' and 'want'. If we can figure that out, we'll do alright.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

Whoot! So true! I wish some of them would use their fancy phones to read this!