DENIAL OF ESSENTIALS: THE FOOD STAMPS ISSUE

Sep 21st, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

A Parody For Our Times

Do you remember those childhood days when shopping with your Mom and spying something you really thought you wanted?  A doll, a toy, a candy bar, a pair of shoes.  Maybe so.  Maybe not.  It rather depends where things were at that period of your life.  It was influenced by conditions of ability to pay, wisdom of buying what you thought you wanted, planting the seeds of discovering that you couldn’t have everything you thought you deserved.

Here we are when many are being denied by those who seem to think they are the parents, denying  wants that  are very basic. They are not frivolous.  They include adequate food on the table every day.  They involve necessary clothing for comfort and warmth.  They represent the basics of day to day living.  Pointing to one or another item in store, the child expects the parent to be able to respond willingly and out of a desire to keep her child happy. And, of course, there is always the looming threat of illness requiring care and often treatment.

Not everything that is desired ends up in the basket.  No, the parent must call upon prudence and good parenting skills not to meet every childish demand or provide every presumed need of the child. It is equally true, however, that the good parent looks out for the requirements that keep a child healthy.

There is another side to this drama, acted out in so many families.  It appears that the parental role has been exaggerated to the point of denying too many of the needs and basics driving the child to request them.

Among some of those assuming the parental role are those who have adopted the punitive role.  No is the only answer they know.  You must work and save to earn it.  You can’t have everything you would like.  You must demonstrate that you deserve what you wish.  You need to deny or be denied some of your wishes so you will grow up into a responsible adult.  And on and on.

Applications to Current Politics

Right now, those who symbolize the parental role, the House of Representatives, especially the Republicans, are denying the requests and needs and pleas of those who are pointing out the things that are needed in households to create a wholesome life.

Food stamps (SNAP), one of the essentials for helping keep families from the brink of starvation, are being denied more and more to those who are faced with not meeting fundamental nutrition requirements. No is the only response given.  No is the rationale for meeting the pleas of please.

The lack of any compassionate response will put more and more families in jeopardy.  The shiny objects in the store will continue to tempt.  The packages of food will still be out of reach.   Even more will be standing in lines at Food Banks hoping to cobble together sufficient meals for the coming week.

Maybe having had such experiences never happened in your family.  Maybe the memory of such difficult times never took place around your dinner table.  But it is happening in real time for real people in a real world where hunger is a real fact.

No political ambition, no human indifference, no apathetic disregard should ever compromise our willingness to offer support to those who really need it.



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