Reflecting back when I was starving most, I realize it wasn’t the time when I was looking for leftover McDonald’s food in the dumpsters or when I drank various leftover soda cocktails, but when I was still too proud to ask for help. I’ve heard many times, “You must not give up your pride.” So, I tried to not throw it away, but when I was down in the world, such things became irrelevant.
Because if you fall further like me, forced to eat “trash,” you will understand the need to ask, even beg people. I think being a beggar is much better than a thief if it means not running out of food, but I digress because no one should be forced to fall on hard times, beg or eat trash. I know people are suffering financially (especially those who refuse help), but I also know there’s a lot of help to be accepted.
And so, what I ask is this: Please lower your pride and receive help, especially if you have growing children. Even if you throw away your pride today, you can take it back later on and hold it up even higher. It may not seem convincing when someone like me says it, but it’s true. If you don’t want your child to know you’re asking for help, there are ways to keep them from knowing — but there is not one in the world who doesn’t need help. In fact, in my opinion, it’s good to teach children to help each other, even if you’re on the side of being helped.
Just think of it as “borrowing from society.” When you get back on your feet, you’ll pay it back tenfold! Actually, I thought so, too, but the truth is I still haven’t recovered and returned it. But the pandemic, high rent and gas prices increased by inflation aren’t your fault. This is to say, it’s foolish to carry the burdens created by the wrong world all on your shoulders.
Both ideas — my thoughts of recommending help and your thoughts of reluctance to help — are a result of a society that values the wrong things. A society where there are countless people starving, even though there is plenty of food to go around. So maybe neither idea is right, but can there be a correct way of thinking in a capitalist society?
Regardless, my point is please accept help. Don’t be a victim. Please don’t be miserable this holiday season. Instead take the time to make good and lasting memories with your family, friends, community or whoever it may be.
Read more of the Dec. 6–12, 2023 issue.