NIN2000 Posted July 19, 2019 Share Posted July 19, 2019 Most on this forum will understand that the US government shutdown in January devastated federal employees nationwide. I am one of those employees, who works in a law enforcement position for the US government and during the shutdown was forced to work without pay. Moreover, I hold the title of Union President and during the shutdown was on local television, begging for assistance in the form of food, gasoline and political support. My responsibilities during those five (5) painful weeks drained me unlike anything I ever experienced. Every time I appeared on television, I would forward the news interviews to friends and family and urge them to forward the information via text or e-mail to anyone who could support our effort. My friends were supportive, some sent help as far as Australia, Canada and Europe. However, there was one group of people in my life, which never called, wrote, texted, nor expressed any support –my own family. Once the government shutdown concluded, the above settled slowly and I was surprised how the days, weeks and months passed and no one every contacted me. In return, I did the same and went on with my life as nothing ever happened –until yesterday. Yesterday I received a text from one of my family members. This person is by far the most elderly and lively individual in the family, who for decades has and remains the center of attention in my family. She is not a malicious person and instead has a huge heart. On the other hand, if she has a flaw is the fact that she is a very wealthy individual who has never had to work a day in her life. This void created a major flaw in her character; she doesn’t understand the economic hardships which most in this world experience in their day to day lives, nor does she understand what it means to wake up every day and report to a job. Regardless of how much I love her, it is a flaw which on numerous occasions stung me. Every time I pay her a visit and leave early due to work related reasons, I get questions such as, “why do you work so much?” (Like most in this world, I have a job, bills and responsibilities to meet.) As if I had her economic means, she encourages me to travel and spend lavishly. “Why don’t you buy a new car?” Constantly I feel silly having to defend myself for having a job and living within my means. Then again, I always accepted that she lives in a fantasyland. However, during the government shutdown I texted her, my uncles, aunts and cousins all my news interviews; in it, I was begging the world for food and assistance –yet, not one of them every contacted me or expressed support. Seven (7) months later, I receive an invitation requesting RSVP for a family reunion. I declined by mail. All of the above has bothered me and the more I think about it, the more I concluded that such matters are out of my hands, for the simple logic that in life- no one can change anyone’s heart. I should not have been surprised by their lack of empathy during the government shutdown. In fact, it only confirmed what I always knew –that they only think of themselves. On the other hand, my decline to the family reunion bothered my wealthy family member. Last night, she called me and left a teary voice mail; not understanding why “I have disappeared since January and why I do pass by her house anymore?” I haven’t responded. Each line in the above contains much anger, resentment and old scars. Wealth is not the issue. What bothered me the most was the neglect, in a time of need during the government shutdown. The lack of empathy or understanding. The “all about me” attitude. Seven (7) months later, I receive one (1) call. I have no interest in attending a family reunion filled with self-serving hypocrites. Or perhaps my emotions are clouding my logic? What do you think? Link to comment
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