A swift kick in the pants

This past weekend, 17 states across America experienced technical difficulties with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, an electronic system that allows state welfare departments to issue benefits via a magnetically encoded payment card to its recipients.  The temporary disruption in the electronic debit system caused distraught shoppers to abandon their shopping cards filled with food and other personal necessities in the checkout lanes and leave stores empty-handed because they could not access their benefits.

This same disruption in service also mistakenly removed the set spending limit on EBT cards for some people in a couple Louisiana Walmart stores, creating a situation where law enforcement officers were called into the stores to help maintain order as shoppers took advantage of the windfall and swept through the aisles, buying as much as they could carry, knowingly exceeding the budget that had been established for their personal accounts.

My point for bringing this to the table for discussion is not merely to talk about the fact that it happened, or how it happened, but rather to engage in a conversation about the ensuing public reaction to it.

On a local talk radio show, I heard an angry caller exclaim that “those people” should just get jobs, as he has so commendably done, and that they shouldn’t be receiving free handouts anyway.  He said they deserved this “swift kick in the pants,” referring to those distressed shoppers who left stores without food for their families.

And in my reading of the news stories that have surfaced around this incident, many of the opinions being conveyed in the commentaries seem to mirror his sentiments, which created some nagging questions for me.

How many people feel this way, that we should not have a public assistance program?

If it is a matter of amending or supplementing the one we have, how would that look?

Do we have a responsibility – or at least, at a minimum, a desire – to aid the people in our communities, in our countries, and in our world whose lives are less than easy?

If we don’t consider it our responsibility, what is the alternative?

Do we really want to live in a world where it is “each man for himself”?  Really?  Is that even possible?  What is the purpose of our relationships with each other anyway?

Could the solution be as clear-cut as some people vehemently assert, that those in need should just simply “get a job”?

And what about the people who took advantage of the broken system this past weekend and took more than they were allotted?  Is it possible for any of us to experience a level of compassion that would help us to understand what would cause someone to make that particular choice?   Can we think of a time or times in our own lives where we tricked the system or took more than our fair share?   What is the sponsoring thought or belief that causes us to resort to those types of decisions?  Is there a soul purpose or agenda or desire that might be at play here?

For me, one of the single-most difficult concepts to accept is the fact that there are people in our world who do not have food to eat, that there are people who starve because they do not have even the smallest amount of nourishment to sustain their bodies.  It is unimaginable with the resources that are available to us.  So when I hear someone declare that they deserve this “swift kick in the pants” in describing someone’s inability to buy food, I start having a lot of questions around where we are as a society, how we got here, and how life looks for us all as we move forward together, like it or not, on this planet earth.

Your thoughts?  Your ideas?  Your wisdom?

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

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  • Dyana Catherine

    Excellent article for topic of discussion. Every one of us who has experienced prosperity at one time in our lives have tasted the wine called Abundance and of course we hunger for more. I am one of those people. I am a child of refugee parents who survived WW2. It took me a long time to accept and practice “the art of manifestation”. I still fall prey to my fears and my creative abilities take a nose dive as does my attitude of gratitude. What I would like to see happen is that gratitude become the central theme around the globe. Be it by classes, symposiums, meetings of all kinds – starting all group actions with a prayer of gratitude. One small ripple will become a giant tsunami of positive change. And now – putting into practice – I give thanks for this change that is sweeping the world – a change that brings the 25 core messages more pronounced to our conscious minds and our daily lives. Blessings to all and Amen.

  • Richard Robinson

    First of all… 🙂 Thank you Lisa-Goddess, I truly En-joy everything you post! And Thank you again Neale and All that Is for bringing us together at this perfect Now ,we are about to transform into the greatest version of ourselves, I know it :).
    Let Us address the topic, Based on the Truth that we are all one, and part of all that is, and the Process is Divine perfection in the form of humans Being. Then the people who desire/ need/ ask/ require some form of assistance will be present as long as we need to learn the lesson …hehehe…. about Being, about how We treat each other, The process is Perfect…I see it Now! We keep blaming each other, or an item for the problem. When the problem is actually, how we are deal with what was Pre-Sent in our experience. What you resist persists, what you accept ….well you know…there is nothing to learn, only what you need to Remember……We Are All One, what do We Choose?

  • “If we don’t consider it our responsibility, what is the alternative?”

    “Do we have a responsibility – or at least, at a minimum, a desire – to aid the people in our communities, in our countries, and in our world whose lives are less than easy?”

    “Could the solution be as clear-cut as some people vehemently assert, that those in need should just simply “get a job”?”

    These are great questions Lisa, but often from a more republican conservative point of view fall on deaf ears.”

    What I usually respond is that this would be less of an issue if people didn’t think that government wasted so much of our tax dollars. People I think would complain less if they really thought their government tax dollars were really being used & spent wisely & fairly.

    Teach a man to fish & he eats for lifetime.

    From our point of view it may be also offering an alternative possibility to teaching a man the LOA or Law of Attraction. In which one can often disregard appearances as the only thing that needs changing in place of a changed mentality which then can change the experience.

    This question will be answered more so as we spiritually advance. The money & resources are there, but so is needless excessive waste which may be part of the sponsoring thought of many who argue otherwise.

    Magically,
    -Marko

  • Jerrica Lewis

    This is something I was just discussing with a friend yesterday. I do believe we have a responsibility to connect with and care for our fellow human beings, animals and the world even. We are on this planet to connect with others and it’s hard to watch this country, America become so fragmented from that goal. Yet, I do think what is happening is Absolutely necessary for human consciousness. I believe it’s our purpose, to be givers, in whatever way we can, on any level we can.

    I can certainly relate to this topic. As I myself had to turn to government assistance EBT this month. After years of going out and “getting a job”, working as hard as I possibly could, and having overall passion and respect for where I was and the people I worked with. Late last year my health took a complete & unexpected turn. In less than 6 months I found myself, jobless, having no place of my own to afford, and under the guidance of a neurologist, I applied for short term disability.

    I’m 26 years old. I have always been brought up to look out for others, to respect people, and to work hard. I did that, I lived by that principle. But now the shoe is on the other foot, and I know how hard it is to have medical bills, on top of rent and the fear that comes with being able to see yourself through it all. So in response to your questions: We are all connected. We are not separate. They’re struggle is mine, it may not seem so but life reveals it self I think in the moments we need it to.

    • Thank you, Jerrica, for sharing your personal journey and insight as it relates to this topic. I am inspired by your ability to come from a space of compassion and higher consciousness in what must be an incredibly challenging time in your life. I believe that our conversation can be the spark that ignites change. And I am honored to share that journey with you.