May 14, 2012

When you’re Down and Out

By RF Schatten

Life sure is something! When you got are the greatest thing in this whole “Wide World of Influence”; you're smart, handsome, a debonair man about town! to make friends and influence people type of guy. The sweet smell of success is all around you...and you can do absolutely nothing wrong! (even, if you are the greatest schmuck on the face of this planet) and above all, Lady Luck seems to be with you every minute of your life!

But! When you’re down and out…and you really don't have it anymore!…suddenly, you're Mr. Nobody; you were never that smart, you're really not that handsome after all, that debonair air smells more like the sweet smell of just can't do anything right, people start to see that you really 'are' a Schmuck!...and you can't for your life's sake get that “Lady” to shine some luck on you, even for a lousy 30 seconds in the day. 
And, for that final kick in the ass! can't even influence that guy at the corner, the one with the cardboard sign that reads “Help me, need money, God Bless You” he tries to take ‘your’ corner spot away from ya! ...can't win for losing... Hey brother! Can you spare a dime?

The Chinese curse says: “May you live in Interesting Times”. Well! we definitely do live in ‘Interesting Times’. Life is really very tough these days, we see the increase of people literally begging in the streets, the homeless population has grown in this country...and, we're not in a Quieter and Gentler America anymore! 
When someone was down and out, the local community would rally around the person, or family, if that was the case...and lend them a helping hand. There was a kind of human respect back then between people...whether you were rich, or poor, everyone helped each other ...Civility, Moral Values and Ethics…I believe it was called!

Values have pretty much gone down the drain. In today's America, local communities are not as Quiet, usually bickering over issues, forgetting their past…and, with an exception now and then, ‘that’ helping hand is almost nonexistent ...also, people are not as Gentle anymore. When they pass someone panhandling in the street, you can hear; “Hey! Go get a job, you bum!”...could it be, that the reason for the panhandling in the first place, is that the poor guy lost his job? ...and, maybe, just maybe…is unable to find another one? Or, you hear the comment “this guy is just looking for a buck to buy a drink, God Damn Wino!”
You got to have a little faith, and trust in a little more Godly, and Charitable. It's true that some people do take advantage, but in general, most do not...don't penalize them…be gentler, America!

I wasn't born then, but I heard stories from my parents about the Great Depression...and the horrors imposed on people in those days. What was impressed on my mind the most was…the existence of respect by everyone...the need to work together, and to help each other; in those days then, survival was paramount...this country really pulled together and got out of that deep mess of the 30s. It was a different era though, much more gentler times.If we get into a deep depression this era, in these times!…how would we handle that mess?

Help Agencies, for the most part, do help...but, not to totally get you back on your feet. This is the system we live in today...the bureaucracy that is meant to slow your progress towards self-sufficiency, which 'is' suppose to be the main objective of the Welfare System; to work with you, help you find jobs through co-partnerships with Job Development Boards, train you if necessary for work, with the ultimate goal of making you Self-sufficient! Instead, the easy fixable flaws in the system just strap's you down into the Welfare Estate forever...I worked in Welfare once, and, like case workers jokingly say: “Welfare, is like the ‘Hotel California’ can always Check Out, but you can never Leave”.

But…if you do manage to get back on your feet, and back on top...just watch all those friends, and family members, that you've not heard from in years!...all crawl out of the woodwork. “Hey buddy! I've been thinking about you, and decided that I just ‘got’ to give you a call, how are you doing old pal?”...YEAH! SURE! But, hey!’re back on top again, you’re not that schmuck anymore! and…you really are that smooth, handsome, debonair guy after all. “Hey look!! I’m on top of the world, ma!!!!”

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