I was reared by my Depression Era-surviving, WWII-fighting, grandparents. They believed strongly in FDR and "the New Deal", and the world they lived in was one where the "have's" were obligated by our government to help out the "have-not's". If they were alive today (and still cognitively able to understand our current political climate) they would be utterly disgusted by what is being spewed by some of the GOP. I say "some" only because I like to believe that the entire Republican party isn't completely off their rocker.
With what I have been seeing lately, reading everywhere, and hearing the GOP candidates say; it got me thinking. Thinking about a situation that came up during my life, that essentially showed the kind of people our nation's "Greatest Generation" were. I'd like to share this with you.
When I was 16 years old I went away on a mission trip to Tamalipas, Mexico. At that time, it was a tiny village with no running water; the "richest" person had the old fashioned washer that you cranked the clothes through. We were told we would be building a church/community center/shelter/all purpose building with a concrete slab foundation, and running water. The villagers were so happy to see us, they desperately needed this gift and were more than happy to sing our songs and play soccer with us; to get it.
The town had a real issue going on, a dirty little secret. Men would drink, and in their drunken state; break into their neighbors homes and rape their teenage daughters. Sometimes, the poor girls got pregnant. Being predominately Catholic, there were never going to be any abortions; so the girls had the babies "secretly" and as soon as possible; turned the kids out of the home. The mothers would then deny their existence. So when we got there, we found ourselves compelled to deal with the eight children that were currently living in this situation. No food, only scraps from various trash cans; clothes only when Missionaries showed up and no roof over their heads, ever.
One of these sweet children was named Aurora. I fell in love with her instantly. She was so starved for love, and I think she knew that I was too. We clicked and within days, she was calling me Mama. I called home to talk to my grandma.
This is where I'll take a break and preface the rest of the story with this: my grandparents were no saints, I did not have a very happy childhood; but they believed in taking care of people - even if their own background made them a little mentally fucked up.
When I explained the situation to Nana, her only response was; "What can I do to help?" So I handed the phone to our lead contact on the Mexico side and he walked her through what she needed to do, who she needed to talk to, and who she needed to bribe; for me to be able to bring Aurora home and have her legally be ours.
She didn't hesitate, she didn't say "I'll have to think about it." There was no asking, "What will this cost us?" or "What's in it for me?" She just knew that I was telling her that this little girl needed a home, and she was willing to find a way to make it happen; because you take care of those less fortunate. Always. No matter what.
We were not well-to-do, we struggled and my grandma worked hard to provide for me. I shopped at thrift stores and never knew what it was like to own a new pair of shoes until a youth pastor bought me my first pair when I was 13 years old; but she was willing to take in another mouth to feed because that mouth needed a home and that is what you do.
We ended up not getting Aurora, it broke my heart when the border crossing guards wanted more money and we didn't have it to give. They ripped that beautiful little girl from my arms, she and I were both screaming, and she disappeared shortly after. I don't know what happened to her, it breaks my heart to this day; but we tried.
I guess my Freak Out is this...when did American's stop trying to help one another? When did it become "okay" to just look out for numero uno? Why is it that helping our fellows is looked down upon? When did "liberal" become a dirty word?
Okay, I'm done with my rant.