Panhandlers. What would the street corners be like without them? Every time I get ready to get to this part of town I make sure to lock my door--just in case one of them decides to get unruly when I ignore them completely. My favorite is the panhandler who is sitting there smoking a cigarette and talking on his cell phone. Actually, I've seen something new lately, too! Teen and twenty something year old panhandlers! Why not?!!! It's free money, and people are actually stupid enough to read your signs and believe your pathetic stories...WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU ACTUALLY GO TO WORK?
There's a key piece of information in that last paragraph. I GOT MOTIVATED AND DECIDED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO ADD TO MY BANK ACCOUNT. Do you know why I did this? Because NOBODY'S GOING TO DO IT FOR ME!!!
Do you ever feel like you get "STUCK"? Like a situation is completely helpless, and you don't know how you're going to get yourself out of it? Are you one of those people who sits there and feels sorry for yourself about it? Or do you kick yourself in the butt to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? Let me put this bluntly: CHRONIC WELFARE JUNKIES are people who sit around feeling sorry for themselves, and expect that other people are obligated to bail them out. MOTIVATED PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO GO PLACES IN LIFE, get off their dead butts, dust themselves off, and figure out a better way to make things happen. Which one are you?
I had said before that I understand that people can go through periods in their lives where they are down on their luck. I don't disagree with people helping them through these times. We are supposed to want to help each other through this life. Unfortunately, in the process, we've also enabled a lot of people to become big fat slugs. Sorry I can't be more eloquent about it, but I can't.
I know that a lot of you are going to get your panties in a bunch about this, but I think this is where it would be GREAT if we had some sort of socialized medicine in our country. I know someone who once said, "I have a relative who needed surgery in Canada and the government actually did a cost/benefit analysis on her life prior to surgery!" Really? I think it would be fabulous if they did this. Take for instance someone who is diabetic. If you take care of yourself, check your blood sugar, and eat a healthy, diabetic diet--HEALTH CARE FOR YOU! If you're a diabetic who sits around eating carbs all day and sucking down Laffy Taffy--NO HEALTH CARE FOR YOU!! Why should we collectively have to pay for people who choose not to take care of themselves? It happens all too often in health care. As a matter of fact, once upon a time I had a patient's family tell me that they couldn't afford to buy bananas that were recommended to increase their family member's potassium intake. Most people would be like, "Man, you have to be pretty flipping poor not to be able to afford bananas!!!" and this is SO true! However, my sympathy went out the window when they stepped out the door to have a cigarette right after that conversation.
I realize that my griping and moaning about health care is not going to fix our country's problems. I also realize that going off about panhandlers isn't going to motivate them to change their career ambitions. What I do want to do is light a fire under people who are sitting the fence with frustration about their finances. There are two options--roll over an play dead, or get your butt in gear. Nobody can fix your problems for you. I don't care how many Power Ball tickets you buy. I don't care how many food stamps you cash in. GET YOUR BUTT OUT THERE AND FIX YOUR PROBLEMS.
When I was in Maui a couple of years ago I had to wait in line at the grocery store for a long time. Why? Because there was a gal there doing her grocery shopping with food stamps. Most people would be like, "Awww...poor thing!" Me? I was like, "Hurry the hell up, girl--you're wasting my time, and my money!" Of course I didn't say this out loud, but I was certainly thinking it. Why was I so heartless? Because this girl had gorgeous highlights--not the kind out of the box. Straight out of the hair salon. She also had the most beautiful manicured toes and fingernails. Then she pulled her food stamps out of the prettiest Coach purse I'd seen that season. Yep...this is why I was pissed. Well, that and the waves were really good that day and I didn't feel like being in line at the grocery store while Paris Hilton was coughing up her food stamps.
"Well Whitney, you sound like you have a lot of issues when it comes to needy people." I do. Especially people who are needy but who want for nothing because it's all free (compliments of all the tax-paying Americans).
Where is our ambition as people? Why do we expect other people to fix the crap situations we create for ourselves? Is that how we want to live? Totally dependent, worthless, and needy?
So what do you do if you're not making ends meet? You look at your situation, rethink it, and figure out how to make them meet...THAT'S HOW! Maybe you have to work more. I get that most people don't want to do this, but for crying out loud...SUCK IT UP!
I am a single mom. Am I on welfare? NO. Do I receive child support? NO. Do I have food stamps? NO. What I DO do is work--really flipping hard. See...I like stuff. Stuff is good. I'm ok without it, but I prefer to have it. I don't have to have the BEST-OF-THE-BEST of everything, and if I do have that then it's usually because I found a great deal on it. I have a pretty nice lifestyle--and I didn't even make any of you guys pay for it! Wasn't that nice of me? How is this possible then? Because I make sure I work hard enough to make my life happen. If I had to flip burgers at the local fast food joint I would do whatever it took to make my family go forward without making the rest of the U.S. pay for it.
"Whitney, maybe you just don't understand how bad some people have it!" Really? Here's a little news flash for you if you think this. I've never had it easy. I'm not drowning in debt. I don't have student loans. I own a good portion of my vehicle. However, "having it easy" is not a way I would describe my life. I think this is why I have very little sympathy for people who sit around and either A.) feel sorry for themselves, and/or B.) leach off the system.
"Your life can't be THAT hard, Whitney! I've seen your high heels!" Yep. I have a lot of them. However, I don't have a colon. Some of you are like, "WHAT?" and some of you are probably like, "OVERSHARE!!!". Either way, it's true. This is part of the reason why I'm pissed off at the IRS this year. Not because they took my colon away from me, but they are penalizing me for cashing out one of my retirement accounts that I used to pay 20K for the doctors to take my colon away. And NO...I don't have a bag-o-crap hanging off the side of my body. But yes...I only have a small intestine left. And NO...you don't get to take an X-ray of me to figure out how this is humanly possible. If you have an extra 100K lying around, take it to the GI surgeon and see if he can do the same for you if you're that interested.
See...I got really sick a couple of years ago. I was on what felt like my death bed. I actually wanted to die. I know that sounds horrible, but it's true. I'm probably one of the few people who actually prayed to die before undergoing surgery--true story. Not only was it a terrifying/devastating surgery that was going to take years to recover from, but it was a surgery that cost over $100K, and this didn't include all the IV infusion therapy treatments I was having to undergo prior to. I had health insurance. I had an 80/20 split percentage-wise with my insurance company. When the bill is $100 that doesn't sound so bad! When it's $100K the story is a little different. So yes, here I was--the sickest I've ever been in my life, and I was going to have to have a devastating surgery, and to boot I was going to get to pay through the nose for it.
So what did I do? I had the surgery (no, I didn't die--in case you were wondering). Then I went back to work so that I could support my family after about a month out of work. I looked like hell. I felt like hell. However, it needed to be done, so I did it. I actually knew a guy who had the same surgery and he was like, "Awww...you can just go on disability like I did until you feel better!" Really?? When did my colon become everyone else's problem? I guess I could've taken the easy road...but I guess it just felt like my issue, not the rest of tax-paying America.
I ended up cashing out one of my retirement accounts so I could pay for my surgery. And of course, the bank, and the IRS are penalizing me for it, but it needed to be done. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
I feel entitled to get pissed off at people who milk the system. My sympathy runs dry pretty quickly. I don't have time to listen to people gripe about their financial situations if they aren't going to do anything about fixing them. Just FYI...you're not the only one who has hard times in your life. It's life! Life is hard! Get a frickin' helmet!
Luckily I still have my 401K. My work sends me paperwork every year that has my "projected age of retirement" on it and it currently sits at age 64. What? Um, that isn't gonna happen!!! Not if I can help it! I'm moving to Hawaii, and I'm going to retire about 10 years earlier than that projection. How? Because I'm going to figure out how to make it happen. When I set my mind to something ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
I remember lying on my board in Hawaii last summer thinking to myself, "OMG...if you had told me before my surgery that I would be lying here in the ocean, in my bikini, able to do what I'm doing right now I WOULD'VE THOUGHT YOU WERE CRAZY!" I would've also probably not asked God to kill me prior to that surgery. I find that when I am down on my luck, or down on life, that is when I get lifted back up. I also get super motivated to change things that aren't working for me. If we could all just reach inside and MOTIVATE this world would be a pretty amazing place.
Pick yourselves up, people. If you want to change your financial situation then MAKE IT HAPPEN. Sitting around waiting for it to change itself isn't even worth wasting your time.
YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS...
(so get out there and start doing them)
And PS...I'm fine after my surgery. Not 100% yet, but getting better all the time. And I never have to have a colonoscopy like the rest of you sorry suckers. **BAZINGA** ;)