Yesterday I was walking down King Street when I came to a realization. I saw a woman who was clearly hungry. She walked up to me and asked for some change, but sadly, I had none to give. I rarely keep cash on me, because I know I would spend it. This all lead me on a path in my mind that felt like a race. When you enter my mind, you would never imagine it is me. My thoughts race and I have difficulty organizing my thoughts, but I am lucky enough that usually I can be clear enough to make the points I find necessary. Well the thought that was racing through my head last night was relatively simple: Why do we little people starve in America? I can’t remember ever having a time in my life where I have gone hungry.
When I was little, my parents always rewarded me for trying new things and promised that there would be something else to eat if I didn’t like it. What I have come to realize is that as much as I have benefited from living in a family where the belief is that everything is earned in the real world and everyone has a chance to succeed, I am starting to lose focus on this ideal. What if everyone can’t suceed? What if I am one of the lucky ones that has the tools and opportunities to make my life a great thing and be happy? I hate to think that capitalism breeds this, but I don’t know how we could make the system more fair to my eyes. If you look at my ideas more closely, you will realize that I don’t believe in a tax that gives people the things they need, but rather community services, individual responsability, and charity. What I don’t understand is how in the year 2009 (nearly 2010) there are people starving in America. I can supersize a burger at McDonalds (well, they would ask if I want my burger meal large, because supersize has been taken out of the corporate lingo), but there are starving infants, mothers, and children freezing on the streets of a city with no where to go.
I was told recently that poverty in small amounts in a country is functional, because it creates jobs. Jobs like services for the poor and charities. It all makes me wonder when we will see a day that poverty from a sociological perspective will be viewed as a dysfunction of the place I call society.
What I want all of you remember as you are reading this, whether you are rich or poor, young or old is that we are lucky that we have the things we have, but be aware of the materialistic society that we are creating. There is more to life than the brand new iPod you tell mommy and daddy that you need or the new shoes you think are “soooooo cute” at wherever you go shoe shopping. Your life is much better than most I bet if you are reading this.