There is a downside to empathy. It is hard for me to see others in need and not help. It is hard to see the stories and videos of all the horrible things going on in the world, and my own neighbourhood. It is hard to walk away from a child knowing they are hungry or in pain, but you are not in a position to help (not actually walking away from a child, but hearing about it is enough for me to feel as if I am). This weekend I had one child (my daughters’ friend) ask for a drink, milk because she had not had any for some time. I have been there a few times this last year alone, I know how hard it is when you cannot even buy milk.
Today I saw several posts from Moms out of money and food asking for help, in my town. I get it, I have been there. I had to change how I lived my life. I had to learn how to budget and give up things and go without. I had to spend the time getting the deals and going without something to stock up on something on sale because it would save us money in the long run.
The real issue is we are poor. Even those of us with jobs can be poor. Our income does not match with our debt load or the cost of just living. I am lucky, I was shown how to shop, use price matching and couponing last year. I am now able to buy more for less, sometimes even free. In Canada it is hard work saving money that way, but it is worth it. I joined groups that do the same thing and we all help each other find deals on food and anything else we can.
I have to admit that couponing and price matching and stocking up on stuff has saved our butts a few times when money was short, or gone. I don’t think I could feed my family as well as I do if I was not couponing and price matching. Even with that the cost of meat is getting to be too much. I am going to have to learn to have meals without it most of the time now, and less of it when we do. So we have to change how we do things again.
I know part of it is that we getting hit with the January hardships. We (as in most of us, not us personally this year) spent too much trying to give our kids Christmas, to celebrate and give joy, instead of going without of always feeling poor. Suddenly the money and food are low or even gone and there is still too much time before there is going to be any money.
I wish there was some way I could change this, make things better for people and it hurts my heart and soul to see the way people live, and are going without. Mainly because I have been there, I grew up like that and lived most of my life that way, even when I had money I did not feel like I did, that something was going to happen and I would have nothing. My greatest fear is to be homeless, or be unable to feed my children so when I see others unable to feed theirs I want to help. I am feeling very sad right now. There is just too much BAD going on.