Deciding and voicing when you need help can be very hard for someone to do. Making the choice to apply for a form of government assistance can weigh very heavily on a person’s mind. When applying, it should not be an open invitation of members of society to belittle or scrutinize them. Each person who receives help has a story of their own yet so many members of society group these people together as “lazy” or “freeloaders”.
- Do they know if the “breadwinner” of the family left, leaving those behind to figure out what to do?
- Do they know how, even with college degrees, the job market is crazy?
- Do they know if a person was laid off of a job, or hurt on the job, causing them to be off work for a period of time?
- Do they know how physical/mental conditions can limit certain jobs a person can apply for?
- Do they see the person use coupons to stretch their money as far as possible on both food and nonfood items?
- Do they know that quite a few SNAP recipients do work either out of the home, or from home, therefore paying into the system as well?
No, instead they judge the person for the potato chips or steak that might be in their cart during one shopping trip. What if that steak was a treat for something positive that happened in their life or going to be divided up among the whole family for that night’s dinner?
In reality, does it really matter whether there is steak in that person’s cart or not? What if someone criticized an item in your cart? How would you feel? Is it right to make a public display against them? The programs are there to help people when they need it. Should a child go hungry because the parents are scared of the public ridicule they might receive from members of society if they are going through a rough patch?
Yes, there are those that abuse the system, I know that. However, society, could you please not group all those who receive any form of Public Assistance together until you know their personal journey?
Someday you might be in their shoes.