Thursday, September 13, 2012

We all make sacrifices, but "they" don't see it

There was a guy on the Today show this morning who said, "You know what's wrong with this country?  It's that no one wants to give up anything.  No one wants to make sacrifices to help other people."

Really?  No one.  If I said something like that around my wife she would have been all over it with a comment like, "First of all I think that statement is false just on the grounds it's a generalization."  Just that right there makes the comment idiotic.  And here was a guy on the today show.

It was a four person discussion and no one called him on it, which indicated to me they didn't find anything wrong with it.  I think that person lives in his little bubble, and fails to realize that most people in this country are trying to make a living with what little they have.  They don't have anything left to give.

I'm a perfect example of that.  I have a high school education.  I have six years of college education and three degrees, and a job as a respiratory therapist.  I live within my means in order to support my four kids.  After braces, school, sports, babysitters, and taxes and bills there's little money left for entertainment and giving.

And, quite frankly, my life is quite stressful.  Life is stressful in the middle class.  As any parent knows, it's nice to get away from your kids from time to time.  It's also important to get away with the entire family, which costs money.  I'm sorry, but my money is going to go to a vacation over a charity.

Why do I choose a vacation?  Two reasons:
  1. To create memories for my kids.  
  2. To travel to spend time with my parents, who aren't mortal
I feel fortunate to even have the opportunity to travel to Florida to visit my parents, with my kids. I work hard just to be able to afford to do this.  And this year even our annual vacation won't be done due to lack of funds.

I can think of many charities I'd love to give to.  I'd like to give to the republican national committe to defeat Nobama.  I'd love to give to National Jewish to support asthma.  I'd love to give to various lung organizations.  Yet that won't be done.

I had a member of the Knights of Columbus ask me to purchase a polo shirt for $22 the other day to support the charity.  It wasn't easy to say to the guy, "I'm sorry, but I'm strapped for cash right now."

"I understand," he said.

Of course he understands, he's in the profession of charity.  So I have no money to give, and I imagine most Americans are in the same boat as me.  The only thing I have to give are my words of wisdom and my time.  So does that make me selfish?  Does that make me "unwilling" to "sacrifice" for other people.

My entire life is a sacrifice.  Most Americans work hard like I do, and their entire lives are sacrifices too.  That does not mean we aren't willing to help our nation.  If you guys quit taking our money through taxes and forcing us to spend it on what you want, perhaps we'd have some discretionary money to "sacrifice" for good causes of our choosing.

Perhaps then we wouldn't look so selfish.  Yet because we are "wise" with our money and our choices, that guy on the Today show thinks we're "not willing to make sacrifices."  Shame on his ignorance.

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