Blog · November 10, 2015

Are We Not In This Together?

butterflychild8Doing genealogy as a hobby has taught me the fact that not many generations ago, people didn’t move, and if they did move, it wasn’t very far away-maybe a day’s walking distance.
Generation after generation, my dad’s family lived in the same little village in Italy for centuries. CENTURIES! My mom’s mom family can be traced in the same general area in the Piedmont region as far back as I can trace it, roughly a couple of hundred years, and my mom’s dad’s family was from Turin. They had big families and they all lived next to each other, so if anyone needed help with anything, family was there to help you. Babysitting, food, manual labor help etc, it was all available for the asking. They were all in this “together”. I even found the dwellings of my mom’s paternal ancestors, it was basically a row of houses for many families altogether, and the entire dwelling was named after their last name.

And look at today. People move. Boy, do they move! I have family that lives pretty much everywhere. I have cousins in Australia, France, in Southern Italy, in Chicago, in the same little village my dad was born in, in Georgia (US), Arizona, Washington DC, other cousins live in the Aosta Valley and Tuscany and many near my parents in Italy. Of course, I am the vagabond in California. Which is not a good thing when you have a child with a severe disability. It hinders you. It makes you needy for the help from family that is unavailable. It makes you the pray of those that think public assistance is for the weak, the lazy. Unfortunately, once Nicky was born, I was unable to move to be near my family, so I went without help from those who would have dropped everything to help me. Depressing? Let me count the ways.

The world has changed. People move around a lot. Even my husband’s family is nowhere near. Being a country of immigrants, the US is par for the course, and I am certain there are plenty of people in my shoes in this country of people on the move, needing the help from family that is nowhere near, but I will be damn if anyone will make me feel like lesser of a human being for having been on food stamps at my lowest low, or for requesting Social Security Disability for Nicky (applied in May, we’re still waiting), just so I can pay my co-pays for the g-tube supplies, a whopping $300 a month. That’s besides all the other co-pays I am always shelling over, plus all the products not covered by insurance.

I am still uncertain why there is so much denigration over helping people in need. I don’t get it. Anyone that takes a tax deduction is actually getting money. Anyone that takes a subsidy is getting money. Any reputable tax refund calculator will prove that. There are corporations that pay no taxes at all. Many hide their money in Switzerland or the Bahamas so they don’t have to pay taxes. Not paying taxes meaning they are getting money.  A LOT more money that anyone ever on welfare or food stamps! Money they then blow on huge mansions and boats or God knows what the 1% blows their billions on. I feel so sorry for them. Right. Why is getting food or welfare just so you don’t end up begging for food at the train station considered bad? Paying for a program like food stamps is peanuts compared to what tax evasions by huge corporations cost us. Why can’t we look at the real problem instead of the peanuts? Why is getting a tax deduction or subsidy “cool”, but food stamps horrible? Do you know what causes death? Not the absence of a tax deduction, but the absence of food. Do we really think this low of our fellow countrymen that “let them starve” has become our motto? Isn’t America better than that?

I suppose we’re “not” all in this together afterall. Not anymore. Unless it’s family, they can starve. It is very sad. For all our technological advancement, as a species I feel we’re becoming more and more distant, gray, greedy. We’re only in it for ourselves. I am immensely grateful to my son, which has shown me that there are many people out there who practice what they preach, who have helped tremendously. If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know where I’d be today. I know I’ve felt immensely alone for many years, and only recently, in the past few years, I realize there are indeed good people out there.

All I know is that the world is full of suffering people, everywhere, some even take it out on me. It’s ok. I know where the delete and ban button is, thankfully.

So, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Saying a silent prayer for anyone needing some love and light tonight…