It’s the economy, stupid

Lately, I’ve noticed a Facebook trend (don’t know how recent it is but I have definitely been seeing a lot currently) of disparaging comments of people lambasting people on welfare, telling them they shouldn’t have so many kids and they shouldn’t be receiving welfare and that they’re all lazy and not as awesome as you are because you work hard and you are more financially responsible or some kind of magical financial expert all of a sudden because you have more money than a group of people.

Wake up and shut up. You don’t have all the answers. You don’t know people’s situations. You are not better than anyone just because you have more money than someone. Telling someone to “stop being lazy” or to “get a job” or to “stop having kids” just from merely looking at them in passing at the grocery store or whatever is not your right, not your job, and absolutely none of your fucking business and especially not a cause for you to step onto your golden soapbox and tell people how to live their fucking lives.

I don’t know if this is especially frustrating for me because by the end of this year I will have grossed about $11,000, just shy of the federal poverty level for a single family household. Yet I consider myself privileged because I had the opportunity to earn a degree and receive an education, I have a supportive family and I have an opportunity to get myself out of this situation. Not everyone has that. And I don’t consider myself lazy at all, and resent it when I see people who are supposed to very friends making disparaging comments about shit they don’t know a fucking thing about.

You work hard? That’s great. You’re financially independent without having to rely on help from family or the government? Good for you. Now shut up. Because none of that still doesn’t give you the right to insult or look with disdain at people who can’t live your lifestyle, who can’t afford the education you may take for granted, who can’t afford your lifestyle, who have to rely on checks to feed their children, who have to work 70-80 hour work weeks just to keep the lights on.

Earlier this week I had to sit in the dark because my power was shut off. I’ve been late on rent just about every month. I’ve had to pay two months worth of phone bills at one time just to keep them from shutting off my service. I have to sell furniture just to help me get to Costa Rica where I’ll only earn enough to pay rent for an apartment. But I can still come back home and get a great job. I will probably not have to worry about finding a place to sleep, where my next meal is coming from, or if I can get to job interviews.

Yet I still feel like a failure. I’ve hit the lowest point of my life, and I have it better than most. I feel like I’ve let down my family, friends who mean so much to me, bosses who may have believed in me at one point or may not have, former teachers. I’ve contemplated taking an easy way out, I’ve felt myself wanting to disappear and not have to deal with anything anymore and I’ve come to hate myself for doing what I believe I have done to myself and the people I love just because it really fucking sucks to be a millennial (or anyone) in this economy.

So before you start insulting people for having less or being lesser than you because of what is or isn’t in their bank account, just remember that at least they have a fucking heart.

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