When I was in public school and college or working at an outside job, holidays were great because it meant vacation. Now that I am old, single and disabled, holidays are mostly a bother. It means disruptions in healthcare, mail, grocery shopping and the day to day mundane stuff…like what’s on TV.
I woke up this morning feeling huge relief. I can feel sick without trying to be cheerful and available. Why is it OK to be alone and ignored most of the time, then people think it’s so awful for Christmas?
The news was chock full of carload after carload of food, toys and warm clothes being dropped off at the homeless shelter. Instead of cheering me up, it made me sad. Those families needed the love, care and goods BEFORE they became homeless. Giving to the homeless at Christmas is politically correct and a feel-good thing. It is knee jerk, simplistic thinking.
Funny how there aren’t enough affordable places to live, food stamps are cut, minimum and other wages are too low, unemployment benefits expire quickly, etc, etc. It’s not cool to help people who are struggling, but at least for Christmas, those same looked down on people are objects of pity and generosity. Something is wrong with this picture.
It’s easy to dig a few old cans of food out of the cupboard, thin out the ugly and Ill fitting clothes, buy a few cheap presents for the kids and feel like real help has been offered. If only it were that simple!
The biggest problem is government policies. Citizens must live with the consequences of war, lack of mental health care, poor support for affordable housing, trade agreements, taxes, lack of unionization, lax environmental laws, high cost of healthcare, food policies such as the protection of huge agribusinesses, laws that protect business before individuals, and all sorts of social and economic injustices. The government is in power to protect big business, not to protect regular old people. The deck is stacked so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That’s what I saw for Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, donating unused stuff is admirable, but it doesn’t make up for government policy or the political climate that pits most people against each other, instead of the root causes.
No fooling! The government spends waaaay too much money. What is it with the perception that poor people are bankrupting the country? That spending is a pittance compared to the military industrial boondoggle; bailing out banks, Wall Street and corporations; tax loopholes for corporations and the very rich and all other money spent to make sure that people who already have a high standard of living can keep living that way off the backs of normal people. It’s sick.
Busy people often don’t have the time or interest to get deeply into studying history and current events. If just a few overly simplistic slogans and paragraphs are all that’s known, how the heck are people making informed decisions? The more cleverly crafted rhetoric and graphs grab attention. How many people have the critical thinking skills to sort out truth from fiction? I recently read a list about what’s wrong with America. It was full of deliberately shocking “statistics”. Mostly it was comparing one year of one thing to ten years of another. Or very specific data to intentionally vague numbers. All were skewed for creating outrage. Information was manipulated to support a certain point of view.
What we need is more thoughtful discussion and less flinging of garbage. There will always be bullies who are louder or stronger. That doesn’t mean they are right, just obnoxious. Good people need to stand up for what is good and right. There shouldn’t be sides. We all have to share this earth. What happened to most good, least harm and individual and collective rights and responsibilities?
Well…I finished my kitchen project. Over the last two days, bit by bit, I took everything out of the cupboards, wiped them down, made a list of stockpiled foods and put it all away. I found a few things that I bought or got free from FNB that I had totally forgotten about. It was a good lesson in patience. I wasn’t able to do much each time, but what seemed overwhelming was fairly easy in small bursts of strength. Yes! 🙂
I left the apartment to throw out garbage. Instantly, my right ear got a horrible earache. As long as I am in my own place, it only hurts a little. Huh? I wish someone could look in there and tell me if I should worry, or just keep resting until it gets better.
After writing this much, I heard an interview with George Packer
We don’t necessarily think alike, but what he’s talking about is similar to what I was talking about.
I started writing this in the morning and now the clock is creeping towards midnight. I am so darned stiff and sore and queasy! But….I would like to think my health has improved some today. I am still struggling to understand CVID in combination with autoimmune diseases. There are the official versions from Wikipedia and health organizations and there are interesting stories in support groups. I am still trying to figure out if my history and here and now is a good fit and a way to look at, describe and treat my issues. I am still skeptical, but am learning all I can.
Like I keep telling docs…I don’t care WHAT all this is called…just help me get better!!!!!