Monday, February 23, 2009

Meeting the recession in the eyes of a mother

I've seen a lot of things over the years at various hospitals. I've dealt with the patients who were terminally ill, mentally unsound, drug addicts, gang members, murderers etc so there are few things which would catch me off-guard, right? Wrong. I was loading groceries in my car last Friday afternoon when a woman approached me in the parking lot asking for money. She could not have been older then 40. Like many, I've been in this sort of situation before but this time it was different. She needed money to feed her children with whom she was living in a cheap motel. She had lost her job and was rendered homeless by the financial meltdown. Quite a sob story huh? I have a fairly good idea when someone is lying(the egos rampant in the medical field is no joke) but this woman was telling me the honest truth. Its hard to convey in words the sadness I saw in her eyes, her hesitancy and embarrassment in asking for help was evident yet the hunger of her children compelled her.
I gave her some money, and in retrospect wish I had given more. She apologized and thanked me, I smiled and told her it was alright and to take care. She then went off and approached an elderly couple. Now three days later I'm still in a bit of shock. Its one thing to read about the recession in the papers or watch it on TV but it was nothing short of devastating to see its effects in the eyes of this mother. And there are millions more like her. It is a shocking testament to the growth of poverty in the United States. The entire financial system is a fraud, and the criminals who run it have the nerve say its the best system the world has ever known. This is "best system"? One which traps millions in permanent poverty while the blood sucking predatory elite stays permanently rich? This is dhulm(oppression) and it has placed the majority of us in slavery. Bad enough that people are hungry but to watch their own children starve, that's nothing less then torture.
It also dawned on me that we Muslims despite all the work we've done, need to do more. Especially those of us who are fairly well off, living comfortably, not worried where our next meal is coming from. Prophet Muhammed(Sallah allihi Wa salam) said “Feed the hungry and visit a sick person, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.” Wherever she is now, I hope the mother I met last week is doing better and her children fed inshallah.


JDsg said...

When I lived in the States I always kept about $5 (minimum) in $1 coins in my front right pocket in case people asked for money. I read a headline just the other day saying that American foodbanks are running low on food; this would be a good project for American Muslims to contribute towards. Due to our voluntary fasting during Ramadan we have a good idea of what hunger means on a day-by-day basis.

MT. Akbar said...

great post and thank you for the reminder.


lwtc247 said...

Akum Dr M et al.

The ladies story is heart wrenching without doubt. But I don't understand why shack up in motels and things. It would be far better to stay with a friend or a relative.

I'm sure those friends and relatives would understand.

Motels are costly.

As Muslims it would be nice if we offered those less fortunate than ourselves the chance to enter our homes to help them back on their feet.

P.S. Excellent job in listing a number of Zionist crimes. I have used that list in print and via a talk on the issue to readers and audience respectively. My dearest thanks.

JDsg said...

@ lwtc247:

I'm sure those friends and relatives would understand.

Salaam 'alaikum.

You'd be surprised how relatives and even the "best of friends" wouldn't understand. In the summer of 2001 I was homeless for three days. An aunt whom I had been staying with asked me to leave when I didn't have enough money to pay her some rent. (I was unemployed at the time and almost out of all my money.) Several "friends" whom I called to ask if I could sleep on their couches at night refused me. Who took me in those three nights? Muslims from the local masjid. Finally, on the fourth day, my aunt asked me to come back as her dog kept waiting for me at the door every night, no doubt wondering when I'd return.

Friends and relations are not always the best people whom one can turn to in a time of need.

lwtc247 said...

@ JDsg


I don't know whether to laugh or cry at what you said. Judging by what you say and that people DO use motels (and I've heard some activist groups encourage people to squat in homes that whose previous owners have been evicted) I suppose I have to conclude that your right... and that the dollar is thicker than blood.

And it's a reasonable guess to assume it ain't going to get any better.