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Values

In: Social Issues

Submitted By stephcl
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Pages 14
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” These words are uttered in elementary schools, high schools, and various events and meetings throughout the nation everyday. We usually do not associate the image of welfare with the American flag or think about it as we recite the allegiance. We, however, associate it with images of prosperity and freedom. As I look closely at the last words of this allegiance: “…with liberty and justice for all.” I remember the number of homeless who beg in the streets, those who for one reason or another await assistance in the social services office, and those who because of the color of their skin or gender association have yet to receive their share of benefits.

According to Webster’s dictionary, welfare means “Well-doing or well-being in any respect; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; exemption from any evil or calamity; prosperity; happiness.” Before taking classes such as this, my connotation of welfare was totally opposite. Welfare always meant something bad. When I heard the word ‘welfare’ I pictured a homeless person or an immigrant who’s only dream was a better life, but found it was not as easy as it seemed. When I heard about someone on welfare I was quick to jump to conclusions. I’d assume he or she was lazy and just didn’t want to work or that he or she was in some sort of trouble.

Looking at Webster’s meaning I notice the words “respect” and “the common blessing of life.” I have come to realize those on welfare are people too and deserve the respect everybody else does. They may have come upon hard times or made a mistake or two, but because of the prejudice and stereotypes of others, find themselves stuck in a position where all they have is their “common blessing...

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