To understand why I chose this title you need to know a little of my background.
I was born during The Great Depression and am the youngest of six boys. My father had been diagnosed with an advanced case of tuberculosis, been hospitalized for many months in various sanitariums in the Los Angeles basin, and died when I was just 18 months old. At age 30 my Mother found herself a widow with 6 children under the age of 13 to feed and bring up alone. With no other alternative available, she was forced to accept Public Assistance.
Mom was a proud woman and hated being on welfare and was determined that none of her children would ever have to “go on the dole” as it was sometimes referred to back then. One of her favorite sayings was, “When you need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm.” So we were raised on welfare which at that time you could have called “existence survival”.
Sometime after WW-II broke-out my three oldest brothers went into the Service (one each in the Army, Navy, and Merchant Marines) and, with their Allotment checks, Mom was finally able to get off of welfare and continue raising her three youngest children.
Knowing my background, you would think I would be pro-welfare and you would be right. But I am 100% against a “Welfare State”. I strongly believe if you “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
Today I believe America has created a portion of its society that relies on a “handout” rather than a “hand-up”. More people need to have heard and listened to what my Mama said, “When you need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm!”
When hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans both my grandson, who is in the Navy, and my son, who works for the Knox County, TN Sheriff’s Department (in their helicopter section), were sent there to assist in rescue efforts. I lived in New Orleans for several months back in 1974 and was quite familiar with the area.
I watched TV with great alarm as people ignored warnings to flee the area as the storm approached. And then, many who had not left the city, “fled to safety” in the Superdome. Since I had watched the dome being built and knew the city, I understood the ramifications of that choice.
After Katrina had passed and newscasts began showing clips taken inside the Superdome I was appalled at what had occurred there. People were in squalid conditions with trash, paper, feces, and urine everywhere! Newscasters were reporting that women had been raped and people beaten-up and robbed. And people being interviewed were crying and asking, “Where is the Government?”
I was asking, “Where is the hand at the end of your arm?” When you found yourselves trapped on an island with toilets overflowing, why didn’t you organize yourselves and designate specific areas to use for litter and trash, and specific areas to urinate and defecate? And why did you allow rapists and thieves to have their way?
Although this was several years back I can ask the same questions today of citizens that live in many of the inner cities throughout the United States. The conditions you live in cannot exist unless you choose to let them.
Why do you allow the drug dealers, addicts, thieves, pimps, prostitutes, and squalor to exist in your neighborhoods? Why do you allow your children to grow-up without an education (it’s FREE!), a set of morals, and the concept of responsibility for their own actions?
Why do you expect the taxpayers to pay someone to sweep the dirt from the hall outside your government provided apartment? Or patch the holes you or your children put in the walls? Or clean the graffiti spray painted on the outside walls by the “gangs of your children”?
Where is the hand at the end of your arm? That hand can be used to teach your children to straighten-up and obey their mama or else! And it can also be used to take their small hand in yours and lead them to a better way of life. It is your choice!
And for the rest of you I ask, “Why do you allow this travesty created by our government to exist?” This problem was not created just by one Party, it was created by both over several decades of continuing to “throw money at the problem” with poorly thought out programs, improperly administered, that accomplish little except keep a few bureaucrats employed. It will not go away just by ignoring it and it will just keep growing unless a solution is found.
Why do we allow our government to continue giving “handouts” instead of a “hand-up”? Hold your chosen representatives accountable for their actions, procrastination, and failures and these conditions could not exist.
Today I believe, “You cannot help those who refuse to help themselves “. I think it is time to hold people accountable to “Listen to Mama! When you need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm!”