Thursday, February 25, 2010

Punishing the Poor

February 24, 2010

Back in postwar (WW2) North America, the economy was booming...there were more then enough jobs for people, so anyone who wasn't working was lazy and simply did not want to work. Remember at that time, the developmentally challenged or mentally ill were cared for by families or institutionalized. The handicapped and infirmed (including the very old) were kept in nursing homes and convalescent hospitals. In those days we did not recognize addiction as a disease, alcoholics and drug addicts were choosing this lifestyle. I am NOT wistfully reminiscing about the good ol' days here... I am sharing this information by way of an explanation for why our society finds it necessary to punish people for being poor. Poverty is possibly the last apartide... philosophically inherent within the general population and systemically practiced by government at all levels. As a society we have spent thousands of years developing a system where merit is judged by wealth. But looking closely at the lives of both rich and poor (with the exception of self-esteem issues) you will find little difference in the capacity to feel or be.... I am not going spend time listing every emotional, physical or spiritual affect. I think you can grasp the reality that money is nothing more than a necessary tool within our society. It does not insulate anyone from suffering or sadness, it does not limit anyone's capacity for joy or empathy. We should never judge or be judged by virtue of our wealth or lack there of.

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