A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting a government office in charge of giving government assistance for those less fortunate. I was there helping a family friend that’s been down on his luck and really needs the help. The experience was eye opening and somewhat disturbing. We walked in and took a number to be seen. The wait was 2.5 hours long and this gave us plenty of time to chat about his current situation. It’s been a year sense he lost his job and needless to say the challenges of everyday life with kids has depleted his savings. After several months of struggling and selling his possessions to make ends meet, he had no choice but to ask for government assistance. This is a situation that appears to be more common that we think. This doesn’t surprise me. The booming economy that we are facing clearly contributes to these types of scenarios across the nation. While I was waiting, I began to feel somewhat confused. In the one hand, I was glad to know there’s a place extending help to those who have fallen. On the other hand after over hearing some conversations and observing some patterns, I could not help but to wonder at what point does helping become hurtful?

While seating on the chairs in the lobby, I noticed some patterns. About 8 out of 10 of the people waiting to be seen appear to be women under 30. Each one of them seemed to have anywhere between 3 to 5 kids. Their kids appeared to be about one year apart, 6 or 7 out of 10 appear to be from another nation and were speaking in their native tongue. As I looked around, I wondered about the sense of responsibility that we all share. As Americans we share the responsibility to keep our nation strong. Kennedy said best. “It’s not what our country can do for you. It’s what can you can do for your country” In the eyes the world, the United States of America is the land of opportunity. To me, opportunity means that individuals can work hard to create a better life. When I had a child, I faced my responsibility head on. I often worked two jobs to provide for my child. More importantly, I made sure not to have any more children. I knew I could not afford to have any more and like any responsible person, I made the appropriate choice. I can’t help but to feel that there are some people out there that take a vantage of our government. It seems they have translated “Land of opportunity” into the “Land of free pie”. It’s important to find a balance and educate those who lack the understanding of how their individual actions affect our way of life. Whether its ignorance, an individual irresponsibly defrauding our government or a corrupt politician corrupting our system, corruption is corruption and should be intolerable.

I am not writing this to insult anyone. I came to this country in search of a better life. I’m 36 yrs old and have a 20 year old son. I’ve never asked for a hand out and have worked hard to be a contributor to our society. I love this country and enjoy the opportunities and blanket of freedom it provides. Irresponsibility with our system serve as a drain to our economy and it’s important that we all take a step towards protecting the land of opportunity to insure that opportunities don’t run out.