Thursday, September 01, 2005

forgotten victims

I works with a church ministery. We help the needy. (Political correctness for poor).

Since the hurricane we've had a few calls - all from people we have helped before.

Hurricanes cost money. Evena category 1 hurricane like Katrina was when she hit us in Florida. You need to prepare, even if they are not a category 4. You have to prepare for the evenual power outages and no food, or spoiled food. You have to have canned food, water, candles, batteries. Sun block and insect repellant, fill the tank of the car with gas, and if you are lucky have gas for cooking on a propane stove or gas grill. All of that in addition to paying the normal bills that the poor can't pay very well without the stress of a storm.

So I called these people who request help and what do they say? "I really don't want to bother anyone, but my kids need milk (food, etc.)" Why don't they want to bother anyone? Because after seeing the TV news coverage of Katrina's aftermath in LA, MS and AL they feel like their needs are petty.

Petty? A woman with a family of 4 kids at home ( and one in Iraq), whose husband works but who also needs to work too to pay the bills (but lost her new job after quiting one that didnt' pay enough) is living on beans and rice because all the food in her refrigerator went bad. Then she didn't want to call the church about it. Why? Because they were blessed, meaning they didn't suffer the total devistation that Katrina brought .

So suffering survivors guilt they are reluctant to ask for help.

And yet some people who had the minor inconvience of power outages (and have more than enough money to prepare and recover) are moaning about how they have suffered.

I don't get it. Does having money make you stupid or something? Or does being poor make you more compassionate?

Being poor makes you more compassionate. You can only empathize if you have once felt what the other guy is feeling at least once yourself. Hence the poor will share their last peice of bread and the rich think that by cutting their vacation by 2 days, they are being magnanimous.
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