All of my adult life I have been employed and enjoyed the security of a weekly paycheck and health insurance. Happiness for me does not require wealth, but rather, the absense of anxiety. Security brings me happiness.
Two years ago I experienced a necessary divorce complete with the all the anxiety-producing effects inherent with the dissolution of a marriage. Two weeks later, the surprise of being laid off due to the economy leveled me. I remain unemployed. The loss of my job was a new experience for me and the length of my status becomes more difficult as time marches on. Feeling empathy for the homeless is far different than facing the possibility. With an autoimmune disease and no health insurance, survival becomes increasingly stressful. The expense of medical care for my canine companion is tenuous, with no help from the veterinary providers. Despite the fact that I contributed to The United Way and various animal rescue providers, I fall through the cracks for real help when the need arises, now, for the first time.
Despite lofty ideals and useless platitudes, without money, you don't eat, go without medical and dental care and, one by one, those things people spend a lifetime working to have, must go. The reality is that poverty creates desperation, can shorten lives and deplete even the most positive spirits.