On another blog, Flyover and I had a difference in opinion about how many single women are on welfare. She knows of women like this. I have never run across one my entire life. It made me think a bit. What are the reasons for this I wondered?
I realized that of course it goes without saying that all of us have different backgrounds, religions, communities, and experiences with people.
During my entire childhood I was raised going to Catholic schools. You can go ahead and call me a mackerel snapper if you wish. We were called those types of things when I was a kid but we never even cared. We felt grounded in our faith and that was what mattered.
Cincinnati was founded by mostly Catholic Germans and the population of Catholics had to be about 80% at that time. I don’t think it is like that today. I really can’t say. I don’t live there any longer.
I thought about what it meant to be Catholic in my community and what kinds of experiences I had. You could walk a mile in any direction and come upon a Catholic school and church.
I realize now that the Church was my foundation and the religion instilled into me is still there. The basics were taught to us. Respect, a good work ethic, treating people with humanity was all part of our learning. Discipline was enforced by the nuns and nobody fooled with the nuns. Charity was taught.
Even as kids, we did charity work. We would have food drives whereby all of us would comb our entire community asking for food, canned goods, whatever anyone could give. This way no one in my community ever went without the necessities of life. There was no real poverty in my community because through the Catholic church it made sure no one was left without food and clothing.
During my elementary and high school years getting a good education was the main goal, unlike today’s public schools. The nuns were strict and sometimes brutal. Being strict meant nobody fooled around in school and did not interfere with others’ learning. Each child was expected to achieve the best to their ability. You never wanted to come home with a bad report card. That meant a whooping by your parents. So by hell or high water you studied and you earned your way in school.
Achievement and the work ethic were strong foundational bases upon which stood our education. Most of us did very well in school. It was driven into our heads that we needed a strong basis of learning to make our way in the world later on.
So the community in which I lived was a strong Catholic one. I don’t know how it is today, but I received the best education I could have ever wanted. For that I am very thankful.
Our Mothers were at home taking care of the children, not out working in the outer world. Our neighbors knew everything we kids did so if you did something bad you knew your parents would find out. And they did. I never felt afraid in my community because everyone knew one another. Just about everyone attended the Church and the schools there.
We had festivals during the summers to raise money once again for those less fortunate than ourselves. As kids, we got to work at the booths when we were considered old enough. These festivals were always great successes. People swarmed to them as they still do in Cincinnati now. Lots of fun to be had and good food also were staples at the festivals.
People in my town were not rich in any way. Most families had only one car and usually it was never a new one. We walked to school or rode our bikes.
Some of us had TVs and others did not. The area was mostly a middle class one. We kids grew up not thinking we deserved anything. We deserved what we earned. We didn’t ask for money. That was considered a big NO. We did not care. We found all kinds of activities and the church provided recreation for the older kids from puberty into high school. We were watched and once again nobody would try anything that was bad knowing you would be sharply disciplined if you did.
I realize now that because of the type of community I grew up in nobody was ever on welfare. I never met a single person who was on the government’s list of helpless and hapless. It was frowned upon in our town. You were considered a low life if you did not pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and get that education you needed to never be on welfare. The people had pride in their work and their successes.
Today I see things are so different. I would never send any child of mine to a public school now. Not with what I know goes on in these schools. The children are taught nothing about respect and upholding the dignity of another. They talk back and have fights and bullying. None of this was ever allowed inside a Catholic school. We weren’t forced at age 5 to learn about homosexuality for bloody sake.
We were taught the basics, reading, writing, math, science, history, all types of social studies. Of course the Catechism was taught also and we had to attend Mass each morning before our schooling started.
It makes me feel sad that there are probably no places like that any longer. Now we have history being rewritten, PC nonsense, can’t say prayers in schools and I guess in some kids can’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. I find this to be so disturbing. I am just glad I was lucky enough to get such a foundation upon which I lived my life. And that meant a strict work ethic, caring about others, having respect for people, and believing in the dignity of each and every human being.
And that led me to a Catholic nursing school whereby we learned our lessons and worked in the hospital too. I came across many indigent peoples but I never would have thought to treat them bad simply because they were poor. This hospital was not in my community.
The nuns were good to us in the hospital. We worked hard and long hours. I loved every minute of being able to help someone who needed my care. I felt as though I was at least doing God’s work for others. Hospitals are disturbing places for most people because it is a place filled with sick people in one way or another. One thing it does do for you is make you see how bad life and dying can be for people. This was back when there were no real drugs for cancer and it was a death sentence for sure.
I think everyone should be made to volunteer in a hospital for at least one day. I think all people should have to look down that belly of the beast and see the pain and the agony. It would change a lot of people’s minds on how they approach people. I think it would give people a sense of empathy that they may never have had in their entire life. It certainly would make people think long and hard about how much they have in this life and appreciate the little things that bring us so much joy.