Monday, November 23, 2009

Our Welfare

In the U.S, there exists a federal program found nationwide that hands out cash to those who would otherwise, and in many cases, still are living on the street and hungry. We call this welfare. This program, though riddled with problems, at the very least sends a message from the government that it knows the poor and marginalized, who also happen to be the sector of any society that is often times victim of the judicial and educational system, that they are recognized. But even, in the most basic function, welfare provides at least a starting point at empowering people to support themselves. Because, when I look at the causes of theft and petty crime here, though, in recent times, petty seems to mean that no one was killed, people commit crimes due to a lack of opportunity. Now, here I will mention, that this is certainly not the only reason why crime is so prevalent here. The root of most of our issues here: corruption. We are chasing our tails and running to the NRA convention because the cops, in many cases, are the burglars, murderers, gangsters. They don’t generally commit the crime themselves, though, without a transparent and effective judicial system it really doesn’t matter. Instead they accept bribes to basically protect any and all criminals. This is no secret to any of us who have been here for a significant amount of time, especially since those on the fringes of society and morality have taken liberties to accelerate their thievery because even more so than ever, there is not a recognized leader in the entire country. When the cat is away, the mice, will play.

I say this with conviction not only because these stories of corruption are the norm, but also due to the fact that in my daily life, I see this. I see this extreme denial of personal accountability, seemingly innate in certain folks. Many of the sayings are in passive voice, ‘ I didn’t drop the lamp, it just fell’. I have been studying the body language in my daily interactions, at the bank, on the street, with professionals. You will never be looked directly in the eye by someone who is stirring the muck of truth.They are either ignorant of, afraid of, or embarrassed it. Hey, here is an idea, just do stuff you are proud of talking about!!!! But who is going to set that example for us? The teachers’ unions here, call off school if the wind picks up. No, actually, if that were true public school kids would have probably had at least 100 of the 200 days they were supposed to have had last school year. But due to the absolute foolishness that abides, public school children only attended 40% of the school days that are required by Honduran law to complete a year.

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