“Will Work For Food”, thats what the sign read. Forty years old, without a job, without food, searching for hope. As we passed by this man on the busy Interstate, questions ran frantically through my mind. “Is this a father trying to get food for his family, maybe he just lost his job, maybe he is disabled and can’t work, does he have children who are at home, waiting on him to bring their meal…”Poverty is a major issue that some of us seem to have overlooked.
Not everyone out there holding up a sign that asks to work for food is a drug addict or an alcoholic, yet we seem to have painted that picture in our minds. Maybe this is the most humiliating thing this man has ever done in his life, yet for his family to eat, he’ll do anything. Do we turn our heads quickly when we pass a beggar in the streets, hoping that they don’t ask us for anything? What if this is the mom that has promised her children that they would eat tonight, or the dad thats tortured inside, knowing his family is hungry?
Many of us spend countless hours thinking about how we are going to afford a bigger house, or a new boat, there are those among us utilizing those same hours wondering where their next meal will come from; fighting daily to survive on this journey of life. Survival – never giving up – fighting a battle that seems hopeless, yet giving it all they have to continue to live. Have we ever thought that we could be one paycheck away from that very same thing? How would we want people to treat us?
Poverty is real. You can see it in the faces of those that are terrified of what they are going to do. It’s easy to go home and eat a hot meal, climb in a warm bed, and never consider those that are outside in the rain,trying to figure out a way of staying warm or where they will eat when and if they wake up.
Fighting poverty in the United States will take the entire nation. It will take people to stop on that busy Interstate and find out the story – ask if you can lend a hand – help when we can help. Fighting poverty in the United States should be an issue every single American is willing to do something about; and we can. United, helping our fellow citizens to get back on their feet. We need to replace our thoughts of selfishness to thoughts that allow us to see that we could very well be in their shoes one day.