So far I have applied for 5 jobs today. Pretty sure I won’t hear back from them but I will keep trying anyway. I’m not concerned about Christmas, haven’t been for the last six years. Not for any particular belief sytem but because of monetary practicalities. Rather than spend money on gifts or wrapping paper, keeping the gas tank filled and the engine running were more important. When I had my old Minnie Winnebago, propane was at a premium to keep us warm in the winter and yes, sometimes it took all the cash I had.The only thing different this year is that I now have a mini-van that still needs a tune-up and probably an oil change.
My teen joined the girl’s wrestling team, the first time she’s participated in a school sport but it didn’t occur to her that there were costs involved like the $20.00 for the shoes they wear and another $96.00 fee required by the school. She’s only been doing the sport for about 3 weeks now and yesterday she tried to hide the fact that she was crying about it. Every year she wants to join something, a sport or a music class but can’t because there is no money for it. The only thing she asked me for if I had the money, was a gift card to a book store.
My 7-year old didn’t ask for much either since the concept of why people celebrate holidays is still new to her. She knows we can’t tote toys around with us. What she wants is her own room.
In many ways, the holidays are a constant reminder to us of how far we have fallen. No matter how well intended the comments or well wishes are, I am still unemployed. We are still homeless. Why would I need another reminder of that?
The current economic crisis in the country I live in is the problem. We can all sit around and debate with politicians about it but what is actually getting done? The private sector cannot absorb or fix poverty on it’s own. The industrial elite caused the problem, the industrial elite must fix it instead of profiting on the blood, sweat and tears of the working class.
People spend money on gifts of “stuff” instead of using that money to get a homeless parent off the street during winter. There’s not enough shelters to provide sanctuary in freezing temperatures so those not able to find one…die. Suicide or drug addiction for our youth is the only way they see out of an already desperate life when their parents can’t find a job or provide stability.
Here is my challenge to self-proclaimed do-gooders. I challenge you to take the money you would ordinarily spend on “stuff” and donate it to a local shelter or safe house for battered women and abused children. Create a network that will provide safe and secure childcare for working parents who can’t keep a job if their kids have nowhere to go. Volunteer or create a soup kitchen if such places don’t exist in your town. Buy hand warmers or gear and bring it to tent cities to help ward off hypothermia and frostbite to its residents. If you are a lawyer, doctor or nurse, donate your time and services to those who otherwise could not afford to pay you. Educate yourself on the truth about homelessness and the people who landed there. I suspect that it the long term, it isn’t facts that will impress you, just what you will learn about yourself.
On a grand scale there is this to consider. If you refuse to invest your resources in feeding big businesses, they can’t feed politicians. What happens when the people invest in people? When the profit margin is affected, only then will policy makers listen….
The trail my tears once travelled on
Has begun to disappear
Funny how the universe has a sense of irony
Playing tricks on hearts and minds by
Placing them on opposing sides
The gods of Chaos now reign supreme
Fathering the pains of uncertainty
Using the kings of industry
Twins from hell, Want and Poverty
Follow the sirens of false prosperity
Spreading seeds of broken dreams
Out of nightmares caused by the spawn of Greed
I see the beginnings of a new prophecy
Warriors born of necessity
Mother’s pain like shattered glass
Ghetto child feels lack of social economic class
Champions of coup-de-grace
This is the womb I was conceived in
Don’t know the tenderness of believed in
Because the prayers I was taught were deceiving
Daughters of mine a hard upbringing
Tough like diamond’s enduring beauty
See how they come up swinging
New day coming brought by those who
Paid the price for Wall Street fools and
They look just like me and you
Time to let my spirit rise so
Don’t pity me or patronize my