Someone please tell me how anyone can believe they survive on their own?

I'm so frustrated by the current state of politics, and proposals to cut social programs like Meals on Wheels or Free Lunch in schools.  Frustrated is actually quite an understatement, but I want to keep it together for this post.

A number of years ago, I had a debate with a friend. She was ticked off about "freeloaders"... ranting about how she did everything on her own. She never got government assistance, and she was a single mom, trying to start a career.  She truly does not get what it is like to need help, but I will get to that in a minute.

Yesterday, our White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said there is nothing to prove programs like Free Lunch and Meals on Wheels has any true benefit.  I wonder if he has ever gone just one day without food.

Recently, Representative Jason Chaffetz said people should invest in health care over buying an iPhone.  I don't know about you, but I wish health care was as cheap as an iPhone.

The climate of thinking everyone should just get a job and pull themselves up by their boot straps is not a new one. It's always been a heated debate when it comes to our tax dollars.

However, now we have leaders, and a President, who buy into the belief that it's just easy to pull yourself up.  "I did it all on my own, why can't THEY?"

Well, I'm here with some shocking facts.  You did not do it on your own.

Nope, I don't know you all.  Nope, I don't know your story.  I do know you didn't do it all on your own.

I am so confident, because my story mirrors so many who didn't "make it out". I was raised by a single mom, with a truly absent father.  She worked many part time jobs, and starting at the age of 9, when I told her I had been sexually abused by my babysitter's husband for 5 years, I started staying home alone when she worked. We had clunker cars that broke down and we'd get a new clunker. I had a paper route, baby sitting jobs, and got a worker's permit to start working early, all to help buy food and other necessary items.

Through all that, I grew up to be a successful TV news producer, and made a good salary.  We live in a nice home in a great community.  I am actually now able to be a stay at home mom. 

I worked my way through college, sometimes holding down 2 jobs, and I started at a Junior College so that I could afford it.

Many might say I did it on my own.

I did not. I was surrounded by little moments of support.  My grandparents took care of me on Sundays. I had teachers who told me I was smart, or gave me second chances when I forgot to do my work.  I had a few teachers who acted like I hung the moon, even though I felt like a total loser.  In Jr. College, I had a boss at Bob Evans co-sign on a loan so I could buy a car. He didn't give me a dollar, but I wouldn't have been able to have a decent car to get me to work without that signature. I had a couple college professors who gave me a chance to pull my Fs up after my grandfather died and I lost my way for a bit. I graduated because of their grace.  I have a college professor who connected me with my first job out of college. I had a boss, and mentor, in TV who told me to dress for the job I want because he saw potential in me.  

Not one person gave me money.  I worked for it. However, many gave me jobs, or supported my efforts to improve.

Can you imagine not having any encouragement in life?  How about going several days without food? How about not having work clothes to wear to interviews? I had a friend let me borrow a suit for my first "big girl" job interview.

Some people have no support. No encouragement. No education. 

They need our help.  WE need to be the resource that not only encourages them, but keeps them alive.

Listen, it is easy to say, "I did it, why can't THEY?" However, please, take a moment today, as we watch a budget move through Congress that could result in the loss of lives because of lack of access to health care, starvation, or no shelter.... take a moment and think of those stepping stones that you took to get to where you are today.  

Is it possible someone placed them there for you?  Is it possible you can place them for others?

I believe in a God who put us here to support each other.  I don't believe He wanted us to be greedy.

I truly hope the current political environment fades away.  I hope humanity and love wins over greediness and selfishness.  I hope everyone understands that we all need some form of help to get us to the next level in life.

Because, I promise you, none of us can do this on our own.