A Thin Line

I recently made one of those comments-turned-hijacked-posts. I seem to do that more often than I should occasionally. Yes, I can be overly word-y. If I am honest with myself, I would say it happens often. Luckily, in this case, it was appreciated enough by the owner of the blog that she asked me to post it here myself.  You can blame thank her for that!

There but for the grace of God go I.

Do you ever think that, when looking at a situation someone else finds themselves in — that, hey, that could have been me?  That’s where my brain took me when I read these words from Jenn:
(This is just a piece of the post. Please read her full post here.)

Kind of makes you think about how a woman’s economic status is directly related to her ability to delay and control her childbearing. This is not where I was going at all, when I started this post, but even if you’re one of those undecided or Romney voters that consider economic issues to trump issues of social justice like women’s access to medical care, you’ve got to see the connection between early childbirth and lower socioeconomic status. Right?

This was my response:

While there is a good chance that I will be a grandmother around the age of 50, it will be because it was planned that way by a loving couple who graduated from college before starting their family.
Now that I’ve written this, I am a wee bit nervous about my teenage son… But that only serves to illustrate the point, I guess: a married couple with a decent income to support a growing family vs. a pair of high schoolers who are still children themselves.

I’ve often thought that it could easily have been me at 18 or 19, starting out with a baby (and maybe/maybe not a husband) and a severely limited income.

Liberal or Conservative, I only want the people in charge to remember that the dividing line between the haves and have-nots is thin line indeed. It could break at any moment due to job loss, poor grades, major injury or illness, or a poorly timed pregnancy (just to name a few things). In other words, look around you and make sure that your response is “that could be me” when you see someone in need.
I actually have conservative friends who DO think that way, for which I am grateful. I’m big on compassion. It makes me a little less scared about the future.

I attempted to have this sort of discussion on facebook with a friend who, when given the young, poor, married, and pregnant scenario to consider, just laughed — which is why she is a FORMER friend.  Her choices in the election here in the United States don’t bother me; it is her choice and her conscience, as it is for ALL of us. What does bother me is her lack of compassion for those who haven’t been as lucky in life.

I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I do recognize the thin line that divides our country — not the line between Republican and Democrat, but the the dividing line between the haves and have-nots — and I want to keep a healthy dose of compassion available at all times.

7 thoughts on “A Thin Line

  1. I love this post. If you lose the ability to empathize, life has little meaning. Love and compassion transcend all political points of view!

  2. I believe the dividing line between conservatives and liberals is often about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. So many conservatives have been lucky, but are not able to see that they are lucky. Why are college graduates more liberal than non-college-graduates? Because education allows us to live in someone else’s shoes for a semester, and opens our eyes to how other people live. It makes us aware of how lucky we have been.

  3. SADLY it feels like there are a lot of have nots amongst us these days, hmm? Conservatives often cut education and I don’t get it. There was so much pride in the past for American educational systems and where it might lead you, how can you scale that back, esp. now that the world is more complicated every day?

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