“Forever conditioned to believe that we can’t live. We can’t live here and be happy with less.” – Sting, If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
There have been a wave of stories in recent weeks trying to paint the real picture of Poverty in America. Food insecurity and income inequality are regular matters of interest on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. These societal ills, more than any others, are becoming my core issue of concern and where I plan to focus nearly all of my charitable giving and volunteerism for the foreseeable future.
I live on the right side of America’s economic divide. We’re not a paycheck to paycheck household. We don’t balk at expensive meals or cringe at the rising price of gas or hold our nose (much) at air travel or hotel costs. Hell, that we take trips via plane and have real vacations make us very different than a far too large number of Americans.
And while we eat well at pop-up restaurants and select grocery stores based on variety and specialty rather than cost, i’m increasingly aware that there are those who have to make the choice between cheap eats and diapers. I’m more frustrated that most of my tax dollars go to military spending rather than the basic human essentials of my fellow man. I’m mortified that there are serious debates about the value of food programs and universal health care and housing support. I’m ever more determined to do more.
So, this year, as I sit down with family in a warm home with an abundant table, I give thanks for being so fortunate.
And I give thanks that I have the opportunity and the will to do so much more for those less economically lucky.
Thanksgiving is a story of survival from a time when that wasn’t a given. That is still the truth of this day for many of us.
It is maddening to try to figure out why that is. There’s no reason why it should be.