Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wearing Our Feelings On Our Sleeves

I've heard people say, "(S)He wears her/his feelings on her/his sleeve" all my life. It's meant to be a disparaging comment about someone the speaker feels gets their feelings hurt too easily, more often than not after the speaker has said or done something that hurt the other person’s feelings. Truth be told, we all wear our feelings on our sleeves, some are just more easily able to let the hurt pass or internalize it and not let it be seen by anyone, especially the one who did the hurting.

As a Christian, I try to be mindful of what I say or do in order to minimize any chance of hurting someone’s feelings or offending them; some would call that being politically correct, but the truth of the matter is, Paul taught in his writings that we are to be mindful of other’s feelings at all times. Jesus told us to be mindful to not offend, as well. So why is it that some folks tend to take great joy in deliberately doing/saying things that will offend or hurt the feelings of those around them? Even those they claim to love most deeply. We’ve even come up with a term to justify our doing these types of things, “tough love”. I would challenge anyone who practices this brutality to justify their actions with scripture. There’s not a single scripture that gives us license to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend anyone and justify it by claiming “tough love”.

It’s time we all started remembering to treat others the way we want to be treated and to respect the feelings of those around us, whether they are our family and friends or someone we don’t know. Just as human beings we should be mindful of the fact that we don’t like having our feelings hurt or being offended, therefore we should be careful to not do so to others.

That’s not to say each and every person doesn’t have the right to their opinion and the right to express their opinion, but there are ways to do so without offending others, intentionally.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Targeting The Least Of These

The headline reads "GOP To Cut Food Stamps In Deficit-Reduction Drive". While the majority of Americans in general are gung ho about these cuts, and Republicans in particular are quite proud of their efforts to reduce the amount spent on Medicaid and food stamps, most don't know anyone who are on these programs. Yes, I hear many stories from people who complain about seeing someone in the checkout line buying food using food stamps that they can't afford, or seeing people using food stamps to purchase things they consider inappropriate, the fact remains the majority of people on these programs are people who have no other means to put groceries in the cupboard or visit the doctor.

Most people think the amount I get on food stamps is exorbitant, but I would challenge them to feed themselves for a month on a mere $140. Especially with the price of groceries going up the way it has, recently. I purchased a package of hamburger last week that cost me what I used to pay for a 4 - 6 pack of steak. And it wasn't ground chuck, it was the worst grade of ground beef you can buy. Most of it cooked away into water. My disability checks are not enough to pay bills and buy groceries. If my food stamps get cut further, I'll have to cut out even more meals and I'm already down to eating just once a day.

Why is it that when budget cuts are considered it is those who can least afford to lose that are targeted first? The GOP resists any effort to tax those who earn millions of dollars per year while gleefully proclaiming how they're cutting benefits to those of us who are barely making it as it is.

Something is definitely wrong with this picture!