“Teaching the poor, “to Respect”

“Why don’t they have more respect?”

 How many times have I heard that, or similar words basically meaning the same thing? When I hear it, I have the greatest compassion, not for the poor person but for the, not so poor person making the statement. So disconcerting to believe a person has missed so much in life, not be able to see beyond. We move into a neighborhood, not expecting to know our neighbor, yet feeling comfortable, still we think we know and can be disrespectful to person who is poor or different than we think they should be.

“They should have more respect for the clothes that are given to them!!”

Take away your second set of clothing, the closet to put them in, the money for cleaning and a lot of other things, we might get close to an answer.

“They have no respect for the food they are given!

I remember in my early years, late 1940’s early 1950’s food was much different. Most everyone I knew in the city, was taught to eat what was given and do our best to clean our plate. With a few exceptions the food went down and the delivered quantity was consumed, especially if it was Sunday and you wanted dessert. On two occasions I was allowed to stay at my uncle’s farm for a week and food there was a scrumptious surprise. Breakfast was like a thanksgiving dinner with sometimes three meats. Sausage, bacon and beef, pork or home-grown chicken, eggs floating in grease, pancakes, piles of homemade bread and ending with toast sopping up the warm grease, slathered with homemade cottage cheese and a healthy portion of homemade strawberry jam.

Wraps, pizza, Caesar salads, drive in restaurants and a lot more hadn’t come into my life by then. As quantity and quality of food increased, we became choosier, describing what we had in earlier years as tasteless, unhealthy, and unacceptable. We may go to the doctor more often now but ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

We change and as we do, through our actions we cause others to change just as others cause us to change. Like it or not, admit it or not, we live by influences weather from a university professor, media or the guy next door.

Poor people attempt to do as we do, feeling that is the right thing to do, often picking up our easier bad habits sooner than picking up, what we consider good habits.  Today, it is a lot easier to find anyone, poor, middle class or rich complaining about healthy food and enjoying what is not near so healthy. Given a choice, many poor are not likely to use powdered milk, dried beans, fresh vegetables in season and dark bread. I wonder how many of us, find it easier to just order a pizza.  If they, the poor, were to share an opportunity to prepare, from foods they were not so anxious about and turn out a delicious meal, in time some things might just change.

They have no respect for property!

Every being needs a place o rest. Bugs, birds, fish, snakes, animals and humans require rest or at least as far as I know. Some of the various species have rested long enough for us to sneak up on them and annihilate them from the face of the earth. Humans are us. We are supposed to be smarter than that.  We should be intelligent enough to provide a place where at least, those humans, without the means, can get decent rest without fear. This shouldn’t be an exorbitant cost and the alternative, jail is far too costly to the taxpayer to even be considered yet we find ourselves being satisfied with that choice.

I have long since, tired of hearing, “not in my yard, not in my park, not on my street, not in front of my store” and so it goes.   I understand all of that. Of-course. Often with good reason. Through history, it has taken a log time for various groups of people to get along and at times it is good to stay a distance from even a family member for a while. We all need to respect property. Go to a so-called camping park, loaded with hundred thousand-dollar campers and check out the respect for property. One wouldn’t consider these people poor.

I have a great respect for the poor and I have met many who have shown me considerable respect, without me demanding it. I can’t say it has always been the same percentage from those with money.

To me it all comes down to the same thing. The poor, homeless, marginalized, mentally ill, need a place, where they can survive, and be given a chance to move forward, close to the kind of social life we think they should arrive at one day, but far enough away that those who have not yet, learned, the poor are still good human beings and are strapped with burdens and problems we can’t begin to imagine. These folks still deserve respect.

WJR III Tuesday Sept. 15/2020

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