Poverty vs Fishing

We’ve all heard it “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I believe this applies to us today in America. As we watch the attempt to renew socialism, many still appreciate the free services that are easy to access for those experiencing hard times. We may even forget that there have been “unintended” consequences suffered by a large segment of our population.

Were all of these intentions truly noble? Were the consequences indeed “unintended”?

Since that time there has been an avalanche of free government gifts. What are the results of these social giveaways? Black unemployment has risen in correlation to the increase of welfare distributions. Abortion has risen (particular in minority areas) as the free services provided by Abortion clinics has also significantly increased. One such clinic’s founder actually advocated for population control of the black community through abortion. Do we truly need these benefits or have they become a crutch on our society? What can we learn from the history of free entitlements?

We all are conditioned for survival and often times when we are presented with options that include free things, we choose the free things. Imagine having very little money or education to feed your family (not very difficult to imagine for many of us). Let’s say you are approached by 2 men offering 2 different choices for you to make. One offers you and your family fish – free of charge! This man even promises you, that if you select him, he will bring another fish tomorrow and the next day, and the next day and so on. This will feed your family for free! The other tells you, “listen if you pick me, I’ll remove the local fishing restrictions, allow you to fish on your own and even train you to fish. You will learn how to catch 10 times the amount of fish in 1 day and you will be self sufficient.” The truth is many of us select the free fish, why not? We are brainwashed over time to feel entitled to that free fish.

I learned this lesson after receiving a combat medical discharge from the U.S. Air Force over a decade ago. For years after my retirement I received VA therapy for my combat PTSD. There was one treatment method in particular that still haunts me. They asked me to select a traumatic experience and write a detailed description of the event. Where were you? What did you hear, see, smell, etc. Then they would have me read it to them, next they would ask me what was my stress level (which of course was high). They would then have me read it again….and again…and yes, again as long as it took for me to finally state I was no longer in stress and allowed to stop discussing it. I believe they called it repetitive or prolonged exposure. Their logic was if you condition yourself to hear your traumatic story so many times, it would become normal. To me, this truly was the most ignorant idea I had ever seen from any Doctor, let alone our Veterans Administration. I left there angry and with a strong victim mentality. I couldn’t forget repeating all the horrible things that were done to me. I felt worse than before and spent the next 5 years with an entitled mindset. I felt I deserved the free fish and would never be strong enough to provide for myself and family. As a result, my work performance suffered greatly, my relationships became strained, I was isolated and kept hearing my own voice repeating how I was traumatized over and over.

Years later I found that no man or woman should ever live with that pain. It was no longer my cross to carry. I chose Jesus Christ and recognized that he had already paid the price for me. Those who hurt me were long gone and could hurt me no more. I took control of my life and started fishing. The first month was scary, when your family depends on you, it’s easy to think that you should be happy with the free fish and live a simple yet easy life. After all I was a damaged product, average was good enough for me. My faith brought me to a point when I chose to leave my comfort zone and go fishing.

Many black Americans face increasingly difficult decisions like this today. Take the free food or take the path that requires them to leave the victim mentality behind. Politicians have a crucial stake in their decision. If we get our own food, we would no longer depend on them, we would no longer vote for those who hand out free fish. This would result in a disaster for many politicians. I say, I am not a victim, I am no longer what I was labeled. My trauma did not define me, I will not allow them to victimize me even more. Sure there are still bad people away from the war zone… but guess what, I’m now relocated from Baghdad to Houston, Texas. I have a beautiful family and love Jesus!

These are values we all share, but to truly enjoy them, we have to examine what’s really “free” and that means saying goodbye to the “enabling” politicians and find our own fishing spots!

1st. image of the soup kitchen during the Great Depression take from public images (Chicago’s Al Capone sponsored soup kitchen).
2nd. image from https://www.wnd.com/2013/11/poverty-under-obama-rises-to-alarming-level/
3nd. image from free stock photos of a man fishing.