There seem to be a trend going on nowadays that it’s really quite disturbing. I am unsure where these people are getting their information they so sternly believe or if a lie is perpetrated that it’s shared without anyone checking to make sure it’s “true”, but it’s truly a slap in the face to those that research the truth at every turn and really know what is going on and that indeed have all the facts at hand. Yes, I am talking about politics, but in general, it speaks about our society at large as well.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with a computer at my fingertips in the late 70s and early 80s, but there was always a place, especially in High School that fascinated me: the library. If I heard any weird rumor or story either in the news or a legend of any kind, I was always wanting to know more about it. This ‘getting to the bottom of the story’ attitude has been part of my psyche since I can remember, which fueled my love for journalism-if circumstances had assisted me back in the day, my wish was to get a degree in journalism. Oh well. I write a blog and books instead.
Lately there seem to be a lot of sharing of information on the Internet and vastly through social media that is absolutely unprecedented. Sadly, a vast portion of it, it’s lies. I remember clear as day the months that followed Alex’s death, my son that was stillborn at full term. If losing Alex taught me anything, is that people that want a reason to complain, they will find one (no matter how minute)… or they will INVENT it. One of my favorite sayings at the time was ‘He/She is so bored with her/his life they have to INVENT things to bitch about’. Of course to me, at the time, having that memory lodged in my heart of holding my dead newborn, anyone who complained about the weather or some non-existent issue was almost an insult. But… I digress.
Inventing things to make YOU look better is not a new thing. Even just a few years ago there were a few individuals who made it a sport to constantly INVENT lies about me. People believed them without ‘fact checking’ with me. Hmmm… sound familiar? Nowadays in the media though, it’s going far beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. I never heard so many lies in my life. To say it’s disturbing it’s the understatement of the year. I am constantly checking websites like ‘FactCheck.org‘ and “Politifact.com” to get to the bottom of things. Listening to ‘opinion’ shows or channels anymore is like walking into a mudfall full of turds. I am a FACT girl, thank you. I am the kind of gal that when she gets those pesky ‘chain’ emails, I immediately go to the “Snopes” website to find out the truth. People truly have nothing better to do than INVENT things, don’t they? That’s the nature of the internet, I guess. Welcome to the 21st century.
Another disturbing issue right now that really, truly gets to me is the absolute disdain for the poor. I heard too many stories of war times from my father to not understand this is a REAL issue, not some fantasy of ‘lazy’ people some may have you believe. Yes, a number of homeless and poor are so because they are chronically disabled by alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness. But that’s only a small portion of them. Many times poverty and/or homelessness’s reason is situational (like outstanding medical expenses) or generational (coming from a poor family living in an already impoverished area). Up to half of homeless women and children are victims of domestic violence (nationalhomeless.org). There is also a real shortage of affordable housing, and more and more people lost their homes due to foreclosures during the house market crash that is still going on. Contrary to popular belief, more and more jobs are low-paying service industry work without benefits!
I challenge anyone to live on minimum wage. When I first got my job at Insight after divorcing my ex-husband, with Nicky in tow, there was NO WAY I could have had ends meet without child support, and the help I got from the state, which helped me pay for a babysitter, and I was working FULL time at minimum wage AND taking care of Nicky’s bandage changes and all of his medical needs/surgeries etc. I must note that at the time bandages were NOT covered by the insurance, and since I had no credit to speak of since a year earlier I had to declare bankruptcy because of the medical bills, I had to cover Nicky’s wounds with bandages that were either donated to me or that I sanitized, washed and re-rolled. A full time job in itself. The Documentary of Morgan Spurlock, who tried to live on minumum wage for 30 days, exposes this reality to the full extent. This is only the first 10 minutes of the documentary, in the full version you will see their health crisis and the inability to make ends meet. It’s truly a MUST watch! It’s streams on Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/WiPlayer?movieid=70129649&trkid=3326878&t=30+Days%3A+Ssn+1%3A+Minimum+Wage
The lack of Affordable Health Care is a MONUMENTAL issue in this country. “Health Care Reform” does help in many ways, but part of the most important sweeps will not take effect until 2014. It’s important to note that countries that have National Health Care (which Health Care Reform is not, unfortunately) the homeless issue is almost non-existent. Having Health Care that takes care of everyone reduces the crime rate, it gets the psychos off the streets and there is no issue with those in the street because of their Medical Bills. It’s particularly disheartening to me when parents of children with chronic illnesses that are against Health Care Reform. Their children will greatly benefit from it, and something tells me they are listening to the rethoric and talking points (read: lies) spewed by people who are fueled by hatred. Please read what Health Care Roform does and tell me how horrible it is. I dare ya!
So… what can I say?
1. Please stay informed! If you hear any outrageous statement somewhere, go check it out at either ‘FactCheck.org‘ or/and “Politifact.com” and check out crazy Urban Legends at “Snopes“. Do Not perpetrate lies and continue the cycle of hatred and distortion of the facts.
2. Compassion is a wonderful thing, a life altering place to be, a soul enhancing exercise. Just because you never lived thorough horrible times or had to face horrible circumstances, that does not mean they do not exist. I did not choose to have my first child die. I did not choose to have a child with a horrible medical condition. Most people would not choose poverty if given the chance. Most people would not choose to die in the streets if they had a helping hand. I could quote countless of Bible passages, but the one that gives me the most to think about, is a quote from Albert Einstein:
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.
– Albert Einstein