Yes. Just, yes.
I cannot, for the LIFE of me, understand why this is so hard for so many people. I am regularly shocked, saddened, and infuriated by the fact that a terrifying number of my students are perfectly willing to parrot back the “dirty, lazy moochers” talking points to me in class whenever the topic of poverty or public assistance comes up.
Seriously; I know WAY too many people who are willing to swallow wholesale the idea that if ONE person cheats the system, then the whole system needs to be scrapped. They never stop to consider that a) the stories they’re hearing may not be true, b) the stories they’re hearing may be true, but are not typical, c) that our system IS broken, but in a way that has exactly nothing to do with the people who are in that system, or d) that they are dismissing others’ basic humanity in the way they’re thinking about poverty (which, if I’m being honest, is the thing that saddens me the most).
We are suffering – demonstrably and to our collective detriment – from an essential failure of the capacity for empathy. I need to figure out how to help ameliorate that, because it’s starting to really wound both my spirit and my intellect, and I’m not sure how much more I can take.