You know, I tell ya. I’ve seen some really encouraging things in East Nashville. I’ve met people who are in poverty who have legitimate issues and cannot help themselves, whether because of a disability or mental illness, etc.
But I have met plenty of people who have absolutely no issue with using you until you wise up, and move on.
I’ve met people that feel entitled to what I have, and express little or no gratitude when I give.
I’ve met people who refuse basic needs, because they’d rather feed their drug addiction, and who have no desire to change that. People that I’ve built relationships with in the 6 months I’ve been here, who will deny up and down that they need any help, and get angry when you refuse to feed their addictions.
And its saddening. Its saddening on one count, because it just continues on the stereotype that many American poor are poor because of bad decisions. Not because of the man holding them down. Not because they can’t make it. Not because they are unable to work. But because, when it really comes down to it, its easier to collect a check and beg on the side, than it is to go out and be a productive citizen. And its hard for me to serve those that refuse to do that, especially after months of ignoring it, only to bring it up in conversation and have someone throw their hands up and walk away.