I have an amazing son who, thankfully, just graduated with scholarships and honors from high school. While raising him much on my own, I needed state and federal support (food and medical) while I went to school to obtain skills to help my community (I work in mental health). My community has benefited greatly from what I learned and my passion on the subject, primarily my supportive nature and resourcefulness, and it has helped me get to where I was trying to go. I don't have a lot of money and didn't plan on it because I did, after all, choose to work in this field. But I do pay taxes and I have to work out payment plans to do so, which I don't mind because I see where the money goes, to some extent. Because those taxes I pay help to teach and support severely mentally ill people from ending up on the street, and a system of early, true recovery is set up upon early onset, these clients of mine are learning valuable skills that not only keep them from relapsing but also make them valuable members in the peer supportive community and the larger community. They've learned about supporting others, self-care, and resourcefulness-- things I taught them because they were shown to me, by my community. (Thanks for the food stamps, by the way!- we ate organic). Now my son is in northern India during his gap year before college, as a volunteer, teaching English to young people in rural communities so that they can get into college. He's also learning about completely sustainable energy (solar) and food resources (building greenhouses) that he will bring back to the US and benefit the community where he lives.
It's win win win all the way around and it's because people gave and people were resourceful and people received the support they needed. I can't pay any more in taxes. But I'm willing to do my part. Imagine how far reaching these programs could be if we had more funding? Lets encourage our citizens to be of service to each other and give any way they can. If a young man with chronic mean voices in his head can learn to manage his life and then give back to his community, wealthy people can overcome whatever seems to stand in their way to offer support to the people who need help.
Just a thought, the DSM-V will be out soon and greed may one day make the criteria for a mental illness. It has some of the markers... Just saying.
Thanks for reading.