So, I was talking to Mom on the phone, and pointing out that she's a door mat: people whine a little bit, and take advantage. I also pointed out that she's far too prone to taking people at their word, and too sympathetic, and too ready to suggest that maybe the government "ought to do something to help people."
"Well, maybe I'm too soft. But you're too hard. You have no compassion for people who are down on their luck."
Fuck you very much, Mom.
She's right, in a way. When people are "down on their luck" through a string of bad decision after bad choice after stupid action, then no, I don't have compassion.
In 2011, Joplin faced one of the biggest tornadoes that this area of the country has ever seen. There was a path of destruction six miles long, and varying between 3/4 and 1 mile wide. Many people lost homes all the way down to the slab.
We weren't home. Thank God, our home wasn't touched. That evening, I gathered up all of the unopened diapers, deodorant, soap, outgrown baby clothes, wipes, and anything else I could think of getting together. Including canned food for the shelters feeding volunteers and newly-made homeless.
Because losing everything to a massive tornado? That's down on your luck. One spouse out of two losing their job (and the other getting wages garnished to pay child support on their unemployed spouse's children)? That's down on your luck.
Choosing to buy a car that's a little more than what you need (or honestly can afford)? That's stupid. Active stupid. Paying the stupid tax every month stupid.
Choosing to buy gormet level food on a fixed income when you REALLY CAN'T taste the difference? That is, again, active stupid.
Choosing to not just get a tattoo, but finance the fucker? Active stupid.
Choosing time spent "protesting" over hours spent working, then complaining that you can't afford a $10/month pack of birth control pills? Active stupid.
Choosing to try to stay in a minimum wage job* AND buy/rent things that your parents worked their asses off AND pooled their income with roommates for (such as: more than studio apartments)? Active stupid.
Choosing to buy cigarettes over diapers? Active, malicious stupid.
Doing this while your kids are going hungry and whining about how you have no money for food or diapers does not spark compassion in me. It sparks rage.
And somehow, that is a "lack of compassion."
*Staying on minimum wage is NOT easy. Show up on time every shift for sixty to ninty days, you get a raise. Stay on for another two or three months, you get a raise AND a promotion. Stick around long enough, and you're getting a decent wage and running one or two (or more) stores. Staying on minimum wage takes effort.
30 minutes ago