Sojourner's Place

there, but for the grace of god go i  

Posted by SjP in ,

More lay-offs...Stock market down another 100 points...Another plant closes...House values plummet, again...Economy is done...Utility costs up...We're in the worst recession of our time...

Each day we wake up to the dismal news of our fledgling economy. Each day we wake up to news of this company or that company laying off tens of thousands of workers with more lay offs on the horizon. We hear the numbers and wonder where the bottom is. We wonder when are things going to get better. We wonder how long we, as individuals, can hold out or for that matter - hold on. But, how often do we wonder or even realize that behind the news there are people just like you and me. People with hopes and dreams. People with families and responsibilities. People for whom the American dream is not only deferred - but a dream whose ashes now blow in the wind. People for whom there appears to be no shining light at the end of a tunnel.

People for whom there is only a tunnel that seems to have no end in sight. And because there is seemingly no where to turn, people like Erwin and Ana Lupoe of California and Mark and Jennifer Meeks of Ohio find an unthinkable way out. They kill themselves and their children. The stories of the Lupoes and Meeks have haunted me for several days now. But, as I listen to the debating and arguing over President Obama's stimulus plan, I wonder if their stories are haunting those we have elected to govern in the best interest of our citizenry. I wonder if their stories are haunting state officials who would choose to "wait" on "their share" of federal tax dollars rather than to look at potential revenue streams within their own borders.

So, while our local, state, and federal officials argue over taxes and pork, families with names like Lupoe and Meeks do the unthinkable because the American Dream has failed them at the hands of greed, self-centeredness, and self-preservation. No doubt, these families and other like them, were at the depths of despair and cared not about our officials proving that they "have a pair" by voting against increased taxes or the stimulus plan. I am not arguing the merits of the plan, in fact right now I could really care less.

What I am arguing is that Americans are hurting. And we are hurting to the point of no return. We are taking our lives and the lives of our children because we don't have jobs, we can't keep a roof over our children's heads or food in our children's stomachs. Theirs are not isolated cases and according to Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, such incidents have become "an all too common story in the last few months.

Many will say that they were crazy. That there was something they could have done. They should have saved their money. They should have this or the should have that. Well, I don't know what they should have done - but, I know that they should not have had to resort to this way out in the richest country in the world. A country that espouses human rights. A country whose basic premise lies on the words "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I pass no judgement on the Lupoes or Meekes because I know that "There but for the Grace of God, go I".

Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
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This entry was posted at Sunday, February 01, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

3 sojourners hollin' back

The first paragraph of your post reminds me of a Sade song, Feel No Pain:

Mamma been laid off
Pappa been laid off
My brother's been laid off
For more than two years now
Ooh can't get a job
Billy can't get a job
Ooh they gotta listen to the blues

That song always depressed the hell out of me.

February 1, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Isn't it sad when people think they have no way out...

February 2, 2009 at 2:44 PM

I hadn't heard about those tragedies as I am out of the country and feel removed from it all. The recession is hitting everywhere in the world including Korea, where I am currently living. I don't know what countries are the worst hit, but my prayer is that this recession is just that, a recession and finds a way to climb up rather than down further into a depression. We can feel comforted at the very least that our government this time around acknowledged the problem much more quickly than in the recorded depression.

February 3, 2009 at 4:32 AM
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