Our Eyes Were Opened

Point–Counterpoint Part One

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Someone shared with me comments about poverty that he found on a social media site. The writer’s opinions (referred to as XYZ) are strong and probably held by others. Because we all look at the world through our own lenses, experiences, socioeconomic class, gender, age and other filters, we will examine the writer’s views with an alternative perspective.

 Point: XYZ wants to be in charge of food stamps. She would give people only 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese, and powdered milk. She says that if people want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

 Counterpoint: To live on rice, beans, cheese, and powdered milk requires time for food preparation that may not be available when someone is working two-three part-time jobs. Additionally storing 50-pound bags so the food remains edible may be challenging. Purchasing frozen pizza or a good cut of meat is certainly much cheaper than going out to eat. Children need variety in their diets to get all the nutrients they need for brain development.

 Point: XYZ wants to be in charge of Medicaid. She would require all women to use birth control or sterilization. She would test for drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and document all tattoos and piercings.

 Counterpoint: Do we really want to be like other countries and limit births by government edict? Would employees who receive employer assisted medical insurance (not Medicaid) have to abide by the same testing for drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and document tattoos and piercings?

 Point: XYZ wants to be in charge of government housing and would place people in military barracks with all the rules and regulations attached to such housing. She would not allow entertainment devices.

 Counterpoint: Are military style barracks an environment that nurtures the well-being of children? Is it realistic to believe that children could thrive in such a situation?  Those of us who are buying our homes receive government housing assistance when we write off our mortgage interest from our taxes. Do we want our possessions inventoried as they would be in barracks? 

            Entertainment devices can provide a form of escape for people who struggle daily with “Do I have a roof over my head tonight?” or “Can I feed my kids today?” We all need a way to release the pressures of life and often we choose television as our way to zone out.

 

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Author: bethltempleton

Beth is founder and CEO of Our Eyes Were Opened, an organization that teaches people about poverty so that they may reach out with wisdom and compassion.

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