Stephanie Pearce: Give your future a chance — change your mentality |

Stephanie Pearce: Give your future a chance — change your mentality

Stephanie Pearce

As Mother’s Day approaches, I have been thinking about how I’m blessed to live where I do and blessed to have been raised to appreciate where I come from and who cared for me.

I watched the riots in Baltimore, and I wondered what has become of our country. I understand that another young black man has died possibly at the hands of police officers. I understand that this person was someone’s son. I understand that the family would want answers regarding the events surrounding his death. What I don’t understand is why this community would take their anger out in riots on innocent people who had nothing to do with this person’s death.

To try to get answers, I watched a few documentaries on Baltimore and the people in the projects. It’s quite sad to see various views on life. The people interviewed had either made more money by committing crimes and living off welfare than they would at a normal job or because they had been to prison and no one would hire them. Some of those interviewed weren’t of the mentality that things could be better if they did something different. They see committing crimes as a way to provide for their family. Their view of right and wrong is skewed.

Also in the documentaries, the people interviewed said that welfare was more of a right than a help or a hand up until they could provide for themselves later. They had no intentions of getting off the public assistance because they view it as permanent income.

When I was young, my family was on public assistance, so I understand what it’s like. I wasn’t proud to be on assistance. I was instead ashamed. I knew it was somewhere I didn’t want to stay. When I became an adult, I made some hard choices to ensure I wouldn’t be in that position again. I put college on hold so that I could work full time to provide an honest income for my family. I was determined to make something of myself so my future was brighter than where I came from. The fact that the government makes it so easy for people to stay where they are on welfare sickens me.

I wish we could change the mentality of those who believe that welfare is a solid income. We should make sure our young people are raised to make good choice. Ann Voskamp recently wrote, “ There is more than doing what is good in your own eyes. There is being given eyes to see good beyond yourself so you can become more.” We need to give them those eyes.

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