Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Empathy Gap

Those who have always known comfort and security don't have a clue as to what it is like to be poor, sick, mentally ill, or old and weak. Basically, to be down and out. You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you haven't any. When you are down and out everything becomes exponentially harder. There is no money for pen and paper or a car or even a car ride to get them. Walking across the city to the store, everything becomes an impediment. The "free" ways for cars are almost impossible to cross on foot. There is no money for a bus, if there was the bus entails much waiting and missing your bus means walking again. Perhaps your shoes don't fit, are falling apart and your feet hurt. You are tired, hungry, thirsty. Perhaps you use drugs or have a record and a warrants for your arrest. Dodging the police becomes another impediment. If you have any small item and it is stolen, it is a major loss. A traffic ticket or jay walking ticket is enough to break you. And what if you have children? Maybe you are out of medication but you don't have money for the co-pay. Or you have it and must choose between medicine or eating. Trying to deal with government agencies is a nightmare without an address, a phone a car or a watch. Like the song says: "He only had a dollar to live on 'til next Monday but instead he spent it on something for his mind"-----Tom Farrow, Newport, Vermont


  1. Wonderful quote Tom, and sadly, accurate.

  2. That is for sure. ....and minorities (and kids) nowadays that don't have
    warrents out for them often have to dodge the police.