During this holiday season, it is customary for us to reflect on our lives and how we impact those around us.
I’ve had the pleasure of doing this the entire year.
Just the other day, I was speaking with a casual friend and we were discussing the paths that we chose in life. She lamented that she chose the wrong path for so many years. I too felt that way once. Now, I realize the path I chose, may not have led me to riches or even happiness, but it led me to where I am today.
Right where I am supposed to be.
In this conversation, she asked me how I can justify some of my political views with my new path in Human Services. What she meant is as a Libertarian, how can I work in a field that is supported by taxpayer’s money? She’s right. This is an oxymoron if you look at the system as it is right now.
I’m entering to try to change the perspective of Human Services.
As citizens of this great nation, we should ALL take an active part in taking care of our poor and disenfranchised. By saying that we do by paying taxes is a cop out to me. There are so many in need. I have seen this need every day. But I have seen those who manipulate the system for their own goals, and it infuriates me.
I was very sick just one year ago, and unable to work. I had to apply for services. It was humiliating for me. What made me even more anxious about the process was social service’s attitude towards me. I was told that “I didn’t fit the demographic” and thus not a priority. I asked what they meant by demographic. She responded that I was not a single mother. She had 10,000 familys looking for housing in this city, and I as a single, childless woman I surely could find someone to stay with temporarily until I could get my feet on the ground. Wha..wha..What?
I’m going to be evicted soon and I have an apple and a bottle of ketchup in my fridge, but they can’t help me because I don’t fit the “Demographic”
Demographic. Without a doubt that was the most racist thing I have ever heard. I learned firsthand of the government’s racist attitude towards their “demographic”. To my observations, Social Services was no better than the plantation owner. They made it so that any male figure in these women’s lives did not live with them, and the more children you had, the more money you received. They provided food and housing for you, but with no real incentive to make your life any better. They encouraged you to work, but the jobs offered were unskilled, low paying jobs in the food service or care fields. You cooked for the man, or you cared for the man. Once the children became of age, they were wrestled right into the system. And the cycle starts all over again.
Where is the incentive for education? Oh there are programs out there, but you are encouraged to seek only the lowest paying skilled jobs. Nowhere are you encouraged to be a doctor, or lawyer, business owner, or professional.
I saw the mentally ill being treated without dignity. I saw veterans fighting for their benefits. In my viewpoint, Veterans are treated like crap by our Government. They fought for our ideals, and when they come home battered and broken, the Government turns its back on them. Veterans from Vietnam are still fighting for their right to be heard. This is disgraceful.
This is where my libertarian views come into play. I am a huge admirer of Lincoln. He felt that every citizen in our country should have an equal starting point in life. It would be up to each of us to decide how successful we wished to be. You needed to study and work hard, be kind to others, have a belief in a higher being, and have an active role in your society. However, I stray from my Libertarian brethren in that I believe taxes are required. The Government’s role has changed from our country’s inception, and society does require it to protect its citizens in a certain way. The Government can’t do that without levying some form of tax on its citizens.
This is why I am an Advocate.
I am tired of the handouts.
I am tired of seeing a Social Services lobby filled with dirty crying babies, and people applying for aid while carrying an I-Phone 6 and a Coach Bag
I am tired of seeing those in true need being ignored, and those who can take care of themselves, discouraged from doing so.
I am tired of seeing the cycle of violence in families.
I am tired.
But not too tired not to learn and work diligently to improve myself and the world around me.
This leads me to the next part of my essay.
Where I am today.
This past year I have learned so much.
I’ve had to be so introspective, so much more than I needed to be in the past. I’ve learned of the perpetual Grace from God, and my role in spreading His Grace.
I’ve learned to accept myself for whom I am, and not make excuses. I have accepted my mistakes, and used those mistakes as a bridge to my next journey.
I’ve learned to never take my family and few close friends for granted, regardless of where they are in the world. I have family and friends spread out among the glorious place we call Earth. Some I see every day, and some I have not seen in years. Regardless of the time I have spent with these individuals, I count them as my inner circle. They all know my heart. They all know my soul. They take me as who I am, flaws and all. I will be eternally grateful to them.
I have accepted that I will never be monetarily rich, but I have been rich in Love my entire life.
In one year, I saw myself for the first time. It took almost a half of a century, but better late than never.
I am an artist. I am a comedian. I am flawed. I am intelligent. I am human. Most importantly I am the Daughter of Angelo and Susie, sister of Karen and Anthony, and Aunt of Olivia, Friend to Donna, Jeanmarie, and Rachel.
I am Patty.