Jane talks about two different people in poverty who have been failed by the system. One is a father of six well-behaved children and the other is a woman waiting for her disability check. Both remind Jane that, many times, the rich expect the poor to only spend what money they have on necessities and not on luxuries like ice cream or two-ply toilet paper. She questions why we seem to have this idea that the poor don’t deserve some of these niceties as well sometimes. Ultimately, Jane is frustrated that those trying to do their best are not given even the necessities to get back on their feet, yet they’re expected to do just that.
This story actually reminds me of a friend of mine. She’s used food stamps on occasion over the last few years, but she’s also always held a job and is going to college on her own dime. Despite the little that she has, she’s always happy to share with friends and family. For example, her parents don’t have central air in their house but she does in her apartment, so she invites her mom over to hang out during the summer for a few hours of relief. She even hosted a little Super Bowl party earlier this year.
- How do you perceive those who turn to government assistance for help in their time of need?
- Have you ever needed such assistance yourself? If not, how do you think such an experience might change your perspective?