I grew up in a large household.  I have 10 brothers and sisters of one kind or another and during my childhood my father worked two and three jobs at any given time.  One could argue that his hardships were a personal choice and to a certain extent I agree.

My father could have chosen to educate himself on the female ovulation cycle so as to prevent his wive's many pregnancies.  He could have chosen to perform a cost analysis on begeting, birthing and raising a child, outlining the cost/benefit ratio of each child.

My father could have done many of these things, if he knew how to do them.  I admire my father for what he accomplished.  He managed to maintain the health and welfare of me and all of my siblings.  But he did not do this alone.  He couldn't.  He lacked the formal education which would have given him the knowledge and wisdom to limit the number of his own offspring.  Lacking that education, his hand was dealt, and even though he worked tirelessly from dawn to past dusk every day for 2 decades, he still wasn't able to make ends meet without some help.

My mother passed away when I was nine and my father was able to collect Social Security for some of his children.  It wasn't much, but that small bit of extra income allowed my father to feed, clothe and house all of his children.  We didn't have new clothes or shoes.  there were no Birthday presents besides a pizza night.  We didn't have much but we rarely went hungry and we has an address.

We all grew up, started working and have continued to work as he did and to contribute to the Social Security fund to help others facing the same or even worse conditions.

This is the story of me, my father and my family.  This is the story of the benefit of Social Security.

This is a story about how Social Security benefits not only help the elderly after their retirement, but how they can help a family survive so they can contribute and help someone else.

I was too young to understand what was happening at the time.  I didn't know any of this.  All I knew is that we only got one Christmas gift to share each year.  All I knew is that my school friends got new clothes each year and I got hand me downs.  All I knew was my own selfish desires and the resentment from those desires never being met.

My family benefitted from Social Security earlier than most people do.  That is true.  But because of that benefit there are 10 working adults paying into the Social Security fund.

Social Security helped me and my family.  Even though I received this benefit as a child, I recognize it now and I want to say thank you, I want to repay my debt because I can and I hope others in need can benefit as I did.

Social Security should not be changed.

Originally posted to arlandbaee on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Community Spotlight.

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