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Empathy needed for those less fortunate - Diane Sears

I read the article "Increasing social assistance rates not the answer" by Keith Lacey with some interest. It might not be the answer, but it would certainly be a good place to start. But we all know that is not going to happen.

I read the article "Increasing social assistance rates not the answer" by Keith Lacey with some interest.

It might not be the answer, but it would certainly be a good place to start. But we all know that is not going to happen. The government will not increase welfare rates by 40 percent, maybe just a few dollars here and there. The next time government officials go on strike maybe that's all they should get, just a few dollars here and there.

The person quoted within this article, Laurel McCrady, says she "doesn't have a lot of empathy for a woman who has embarked on a hunger strike…" Obviously she has no empathy at all.

How do you think Sara Anderson must have felt in order to go on a hunger strike to get some attention to the plight she and many others find themselves in?  Happy? Loved? I don't think so. More like desperate, hopeless, alone, and scared.

I don't know the lady in question, but you can bet I have a lot of empathy for her. I feel for anyone who is in a situation where there are no answers. Actually, I shouldn't say there are no answers because there are many, but society chooses to ignore the answers that would help others, like raising social assistance rates, for one.

I know Anderson's hunger strike will not change anything. She will get media coverage for a little while, then she'll be forgotten. Society doesn't care and the government does not even pretend to care.

I do agree with McCrady's statement that "the social assistance system wasn't designed as a lifestyle choice."  Of course not, it isn't a choice most people make easily and it was designed to help people in need.

Welfare isn't a choice, it's just something that's there when there is nothing else to choose from.

A mother calls the welfare office as a last resort because she cares enough to make some attempt to care for and feed her children.

People with the attitude like McCrady's are the ones that think they are better than people on welfare, but it's important to remember: no one person's life has more value than another.

It's fine to take pride in your job if you are fortunate enough to have one, but don't look down on someone who isn't as lucky; count your blessings instead.

Most people on assistance don't have a lot of pride left. Most welfare recipients are not in ideal situations. We need to learn empathy, compassion, and understanding for the plight of others.

Diane Sears
Sudbury



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