Friday, November 09, 2007

Tonight, I enjoyed my Friday night routine, which usually involves watching "20/20" on ABC. Tonight's episode featured several impoverished families and the generous and immense help they received from 20/20 viewers.

While I sympathize with the innocent children (ie: victims) of poverty, some common themes run through the stories of the adults.
#1. They dropped out of school and gave up on education.
#2. They got themselves or someone else pregnant.
One family spent their welfare money on brand name gourmet donuts instead of anything resembling actual food. Another so-called impoverished family had every video game product imaginable, yet there were no books to be found in their house.

Why is so much help given to those who do little to help themselves? I’ve made all the “right” decisions in life, yet there are weeks when I cannot afford to put groceries on the table or gas in my car. Last year, I taught elementary school full-time and had two part-time jobs, while finishing my M.Ed. thesis.

My father passed away when I was a teenager, and I’ve worked to support my family ever since. I worked full time AND studied hard to earn scholarships to put myself through college and graduate school. I never gave up. I have a masters' degree.

So I chose to give back to my own neighborhood by teaching at the same impoverished school I attended as a child. With teacher salaries being what they are, I will never be a homeowner. I will never pay off my student loans. I am one paycheck away from being homeless.

Where is the help for those of us who’ve made responsible choices?


Wendy said...

Hmmm.... Oprah? Maybe you can meet someone who can get you on her "favorite Things" show, and then you can sell all that extravagant crap on ebay.