Over the last couple of days, I’ve engaged in written confrontations with several acquaintances on moral issues. These clashes stem from the inability of some people to view our society from totally different perspectives. During my discourses, I find myself able to see the opposing view, but I haven’t found success in getting my angry opponents to even try to see my outlook. Instead, I’ve met with unexpected anger and open hostility. I understand the fear of some of these individuals that somehow another group of people in our society, who are perceived as undeserving, will reap benefits from those of us who “work hard for our money.”
Trying to reason with fears and phobias never seems to work. I did a little research to back my points, but finding statistical proof that families on welfare receive benefits that are below the poverty line, or that more than one-hundred studies show that most recipients of welfare leave the system within the first two years, doesn’t sway my antagonists.
The entire situation leaves me baffled and stunned. Insults come flying my way. My opinions are simplistic, liberal, stupid, childish, naive, and WRONG! I sit here and wonder, “How can I be wrong?” When did making a moral choice to protect those weaker and less fortunate become something so erroneous that I’m belittled for my sense of morality?
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman
By Emma Lazarus, 1883
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"