Images of Welfare
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.

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According to Websters 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 whos 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. Id assume he or she was lazy and just didnt want to work or that he or she was in some sort of trouble.

Looking at Websters 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 of life.
Many in society see those on welfare as crooks who try to take advantage of the system. Yes, there are some that do, but all the majority wants is liberty and justice for all. They want to be a part of America and not looked upon as outcasts or criminals. Life is hard enough with the minimal; its even harder when prejudice and stereotypes set in. It gives no justice to those in welfare and strips them of their liberty.

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