My name is not "Those People"

My name is not "Those People"

About six weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Christian Community Development Association Institute. One of the presenters handed us a poem that resonated with me and I would like to share it for this week's blog. As a staff member of an organization that focuses on world hunger I usually center around the stories of development, so this poem of U.S. poverty is a bit different slant for me, but when you reach the last paragraph you will read the very words that have become a primary theme or maxim at the Foods Resource Bank.

My name is not "Those People". I am a loving woman, a mother in pain, giving birth to the future, where my babies have the same chance to thrive as anyone.

My name is not "Inadequate." I did not make my husband leave us.....he chose to, and chooses not to pay child support. Truth is though; there isn't a job base for all fathers to support their families. While society turns its head, my children pay the price.

My name is not "Problem and Case to Be Managed." I'm a capable human being and citizen, not just a client. The social service system can never replace the compassion and concern of loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, fathers, cousins, community.....all the bonded people who need to be but are not present to bring little ones forward to their potential.

My name is not "Lazy, Dependent Welfare Mother." If the unwaged work of parenting, homemaking, and community building were factored into the gross domestic product, my work would have untold value. And why is it that mothers whose husbands support them to stay home and raise children are glorified? And why don't they get called lazy or dependent?

My name is not "Ignorant, Dumb, or Uneducated." I got my PhDo from the university of life, school of hard everything. I live with an income of $621 with $169 in food stamps for three kids. Rent is $585....that leaves $36 a month to live on. I am such a genius at surviving, I could balance the state budget in an hour. Never mind that there's a lack of living-wage jobs. Never mind that it's impossible to be the sole emotional, social, spiritual, and economic support for a family. Never mind that parents are losing their children to gangs, drugs, stealing, prostitution, the poverty industry, social workers, kidnapping, the streets, the predator. Forget about putting more money into our schools......just build more prisons!

My name is not "Lay Down and Die Quietly." My love is powerful, and the urge to keep my children alive will never stop. All children need homes and people who love them. All children need safety and the chance to be the people they were born to be.

The wind will stop before I allow my sons to become a statistic. Before you give in to the urge to blame me, the blame that lets us go blind and unknowing into the isolation that disconnects your humanity from mine, take another look. Don't go away. FOR I AM NOT THE PROBLEM, BUT THE SOLUTION. And..................
my name is not "Those People."

By Julia K. Dinsmore
from her book, "My Name is Child of God.........not 'those people'

Blog by Ron De Weerd, FRB Director of Resource Development

 

01/31/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment