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January 2, 2013 at 11:31 AMComments: 6 Faves: 1

I Give a Crap

By Big Dave from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Dear Mom,

I can make fancier meals than you can because I give a crap.

I give a crap enough to go out and buy canned and frozen vegetables and use them to make dinners instead of going to McDonalds or having my brother bring you food from Taco Bell. I also give a crap to make a decent dinner after my 8-hour work day, despite being tired. You could do this. You don't work. You have plenty of time.

I give a crap enough to pass on the 2-liters of soda, like the ones in your fridge. Those cost more money than good food... especially at the party store where you buy them. For the price of 2 of those, you could've bought a whole chicken. Not to mention those empty calories just leave you hungrier than before.

I give a crap enough to budget. It doesn't matter that I get a larger paycheck from work than the disability checks you receive. You could be planning things out too. Regardless how much money I make, I give a crap about making sure I can get groceries at the end of the month, so I don't buy frivolous stuff at the beginning of it.

I give a crap about learning to cook better and newer things. I give a crap about this so much that I scanned all of grandma's recipes into my smartphone on my last visit, and I spend time looking up other recipes on the internet. If you gave a crap, you'd be looking through all of dad's cookbooks, of which there are many, and try making something other than boxed mac 'n' cheese and bologna sandwiches.

Now that I think about it, the only thing I don't give a crap about is your excuses. You shouldn't be giving me sob stories about how small your welfare checks are, how you don't have time to cook, and how broke you are. You sit around bored, smoking and watching TV, when you could be improving your life and the lives of the rest of the family. So instead of asking "Why is David so lucky?" you should be asking yourself "Why don't I give a crap enough to change?"

Big Dave

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  • It IS really frustrating to see someone that important in your life making poor decisions and staying stuck in their ways. You wish they would recognize the part they are playing in their own misfortunes - or at least being open to the observations of others - but unfortunately, one of the hardest things for people is admitting they were/are wrong and one of the scariest things is changing. Some people need to hit bottom before they are motivated to take the risk and try to pull themselves back up.

    I hope for your sake and her's she'll wake up and begin taking her share of responsibility for her life. :/

  • Well done Dave. It is difficult to tell someone you love where they've gone astray. I think you've done an excellent job making it painfully clear.

    @Erin - unfortunately, some people want to be on the bottom. Easier to live off the mulm of society than to make your own way.

  • @sprouty - She's clearly not doing well, but I don't know if she's REALLY hit bottom either. She may wish things were better, but it sounds like she's really become comfortable with things as they are and she has people around her supporting her lifestyle. The situation is a lot like all those people on Intervention. :/

  • My Mom was the same way Dave until she lost her UI assistance. Right after that life line (assistance chain) was cut she had no choice, but to be responsible and start giving a crap, or go homeless. The 3 boxes of wine a week cut down to 1 a month. The junk food from Ralph's was replace with bulk buying of sustainable food items from Costco, and the cable service was cancelled cause TV is a time killer that costs.

    Everyone is different, but watching my Mom and how she reacted to the "assistance", and then watching her when she lost it made me realize that welfare is the most debilitating, backwards program in the world. I feel like instead of helping people the government just pays them to go away and hide. Grant it not everyone is the same and will react the way my Mom did, and maybe I'm missing the point, but I'm a person that believes in getting in the water to see if you sink or swim, and if you can't swim you learn really fast when you're in the water.

  • The hard part is I know people who really are struggling and would make the most out of assistance if they could get it, but can't.

  • I feel for you. I'm going through a similar situation with my brother. He's not on welfare but lives with my parents. He has no self-control when it comes to food and will snarf down large amounts of junk. He has a part-time job and complains about how little he makes, yet I never see him trying to find anything else. He pays very little for rent and has few expenses, so I don't know why he complains.
    I generally do not favor welfare programs for reasons you write in your article. I go through poor neighborhoods and see satellite dishes on people's houses and think that they have no idea what true want is. I've traveled in southern North America in places like Mexico and Honduras. I've seen ramshackle buildings with nice-looking satellite dishes on them and wondered why people would spend their money on that when they probably make far less than most here. I was on a tour in Belize, and the driver said that if you are unemployed in Belize, the government will not give you money.
    My sister lives on her own and doesn't make a lot of money. She forgoes cable and the internet and other things many others consider necessities. She saved up and had a large down payment on her place and now owes under $10,000 on her mortgage. She is on no sort of welfare program. She is why I have little sympathy for people who claim their welfare isn't enough. The poor in the United States are better off than the poor in many countries. One hundred years ago in the United States, the rich man drove, and the poor man walked. Today, the rich man drives a Jaguar, and the poor man drives a Taurus, which is likely nicer than the car of the rich man one hundred years ago.
    I'm not opposed to helping the poor, but I think there are better ways to go about it than simply writing checks. If people are not going to get money by working, they should be held accountable for how they spend it. For example, maybe benefits could be given via debit card, and certain items, like tobacco and alcohol could be blocked and others, like starchy snack foods could be limited. If people want booze, then they could work at a job to get the money to buy it. Benefits could be made conditional based on what people buy and could decrease if all anyone bought was junk food. There would have to be, however, an adjustment so that people in inner city areas would have more healthy options available. I'm not sure how to do that just yet.
    To paraphrase a quote, if you depend on others for your daily living, you will always be poor.
    @Garchow- That is great news. I wonder how many others had that happen to them.

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