Monday, September 18, 2023

Unfortunate Lives

The other day I made the comment on my social media that it is astonishing to me that in two years we have come from a point when even the rich was begging for government aid to stay afloat and everyone chanting that all we need is love and such to a point where those that don't own a house or have a huge savings are considered lazy and losers, once again.... in just two short years.  I, actually, have a lot more background and thoughts that can go into this, so I am doing a post about it.

In Oklahoma where I grew up, there isn't a lot of opportunity.. for ANYONE for jobs and such.  It is pretty much an unremarkable rural state, because you could see that same type of community in a couple dozen other states, nationwide.  People grew up in simple lives.  We didn't know we were poor by national standards, because.. it was that it was.  That's what we knew when we grew up.  It was just... life.  It would be years before I would be introduced to faster paced society where people were fixated on how many THINGS you had over how good of a person you were.  Did you know that the lowest class in this country is richer than many of the richer classes in a HUGE number of other countries in the world?  They have access to better healthcare, food supplies, and residences than people around the world will spend their whole life never knowing.  It's like those on mount Olympus arguing about who is less than others, while civilization crumbles below.
Three is this belief among those that live among those that have money.  I know that even I was conned into believing it along the way.  It is this belief that those that HAVE are good.... they worked hard and are "blessed" by God with their lives.  I would learn and grow far from that initial thinking and to this day will cringe at hearing someone say they are "blessed" with a good life.  Of course, the opposite that is believed is that if you are struggling, then something is wrong with you... you are lazy, sinful, etc.  Ironically, Jesus himself rebuked this kind of thinking on several times, but it's not like the followers actually listen to everything he says... especially if he says to give it AWAY to those that didn't deserve the "blessings."

I'm poor... I'm pulling myself back up, as I have had to do several times over my life, but by all statistical measures I am poor.  I have had to rely on credit much more than I would have liked to do.... this year my reliance on credit was directly tied to seeking a higher paying JOB of all things.... a job that has netted LESS than other jobs, after you consider the related credit and commuting costs and benefits. 

Yet, I have not only worked hard at that job but others sources of income along the way, as needs rose to meet the income.  In prior periods of my life, I didn't earn as much money, but I still worked hard.  I have been employed since I was like 10 at one thing or another.  I worked as a kid bailing hay, picking okra, sweeping the floors at the school, and helping my dad in his construction business.  I even worked the counter, when he tried to open a hardware store for a bit.  I would join the National Guard at 17 and go to basic between my junior and senior year of high school. I would work at movie theaters, fast food places, and more during my first couple years in college and beyond after college.  Later, I would work in Active Army, as well.  The only time that I was not employed or earning money was when I took 7 years to homeschool an ADHD child that the school thanked me for taking, as she was challenging to them with all her questions and were isolating her from other students. 

For anyone that has ADHD children, they could guess that period was definitely also work, especially as I was also taking care of all the household duties and giving me an appreciation for stay at home moms.  During that time, I would also work to finish my education, while bouncing an infant, after my ex had a post partum psychotic break.  I would get a job and work at one thing or another till now.. often working two sources of income at least.
But.. I'm poor... so I'm lazy or sinful.  Does it matter that Jesus was likewise poor in His life... no. He most have been lazy or sinful, too… since he wasn’t “blessed,” as the perception goes.  One wonders why the church gives to the poor at all, till you learn like I did the prosperity gospel.  I would learn it well… from Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, and Pat Robertson, him self.  No.. if you tithe and chant these things than God would be required to give you what you desire…. And the church has the gall to condemn witches, when at least witches know their rituals have consequences and aren’t trying to blackmail a deity.

I know I stamped on the feet of a few icons and my criticism will fall on a lot of other religious feet, but maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe.. just maybe.. we need to stop judging (which Jesus condemned) the poor and needy and actually do something to HELP them, even if it makes us less “blessed” to do so.  We are a nation where the majority live unfortunate lives, but it doesn’t have to be so bad, if we could learn to love our neighbors, as the Christian founder told us to do.

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