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View Diary: Festering economic boil Phil Gramm says Obama is winning because poor people have it too good (127 comments)

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  •  And I have a very, very good friend (2+ / 0-)
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    Matt Z, elmo

    Who is disabled from severe PTSD, brought on by a horribly abusive childhood.  He also suffers from diabetes and heart disease.  Yes, he lives on disability payments.  But every day he gets up, even when he's in great pain, and works his butt off for an arts program he founded for disadvantaged kids.  He not only provides free art classes for them, he finds them jobs, such as painting murals, so they can experience actually getting paid for being an artist.  Oh, and at least a third of his disability money goes to buy art supplies for them.  

    One of his former students was, as a younger girl, ready to commit suicide because of her unhappy home life.  She was also an incredibly talented artist.  He got her into the program, nurtured her, got her paying gigs as an artist, wrote her a letter of recommendation to a national art competiton - which she won.  The prize?  Two weeks, all expenses paid, to Italy.  She's now a freshman in college on full scholarship, studying art history.

    Sometimes, when he's feeling really rotten, I ask him why he does all this.  He says it helps the pain go away for a while to know that he's giving these kids a way to express their creativity and vision - something he never had as a child.

    My friend may sound like a special case, but I will bet that there are other stories like this, of people who can't work regular jobs, who rely on government help to get by, but who still try very hard to be productive, caring, involved citizens.  

    If this is mooching, the world needs a hell of a lot more of it.

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