Tis The Season to Be Entitled

by admin on December 15, 2015

in Tyler Businesses

I love this time of year! The Christmas Carols, the giving of gifts, merriment with friends and family, the Salvation Army Santa ringing bells for the less fortunate, the protestors demonstrating outside the Salvation Army… It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

I remember as a young man just out of high school, spending some time working with a little Catholic Mission in the slums of New Orleans, (this was pre- Katrina if that matters to my readers). We would often offer aid and services to the city’s homeless who would seek shelter in squalor beneath over passes and bridges. When my friend and I spoke with residents we inquired as to the circumstances which lead to their poverty and homelessness. Frequently we were shocked to find that the residents had chosen their lifestyles in order to avoid social and familial responsibilities. One elderly man, clearly struggling with numerous addictions and health conditions told us flatly of a daughter with whom he refused to live because he found her rules and expectations confining. This period of my life did a couple of things for me. First off it gave me a profound respect for the labors of the church among the poor, coming through the little nuns of that mission. Secondly it de-mythologized the poor for me. Not that I believe in turning a blind eye to the plight of the underprivileged; emphatically the contrary, but it confronted me with the truth that we all suffer due to our own pride and mistakes and as such there are people in society who will not be helped. And then there’s the folks at “Occupy Tyler,” all five of them.

Today I saw this shameless little band of fools biting the hand that feeds, in all probability, them and others in the community. They were protesting the Salvation Army. The activists objected to the fact that the organization required a dollar a meal from its non-residents. They objected to the quality of the food. And they objected to the fact that the organization has any assets with which to provide the food that they do. And the frustrating thing is, not a one of them is smart enough to perceive the futility of their objections. Their demands (their words) were clearly stated; three meals a day seven days a week. This is the rankest kind of laziness, greed and envy; poorly covered by the thinnest veneer of “social justice” and “income inequality.” In our modern entitlement society, protest is a method of assuaging a guilty conscience. It says to the protestor; “I am not at fault for my shortcomings. Society is. Therefore, society (meaning the rest of us) should make up for the deficiencies of my life.” At least the elderly homeless man in New Orleans had the pride not to demand that his daughter provide for him on his own terms. He just moved under a bridge.

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