Letter: Not all have it good growing up

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

To the Editor:

North Carolina legislators who vote to reduce the safety net of those less fortunate almost never have had to live a resource-deprived life. 

Among the many advantages they might overlook:

• Serendipity of birth, the class and comfort into which so many of them have been born.

• Childhood resources during preschool years, functional parental care, nutrition, health care, exposure to the rudiments of cognitive development (books, being read to, writing materials).

• Childhood resources during school years, better schools and their advantages (fuller range of subjects, extracurricular opportunities, tutors, relative safety from bullying, friends committed to education).

• Late teens, early 20s exposure to “connections” via family, friends and associates that produce life-long opportunities such as advanced education, summer jobs and internships, life-broadening opportunities to try something experimental or exotic involving travel without losing the support net.

• Careers and businesses. More than a job, these emerge from all of the above following those preparatory years of nurturing support and encouragement. For more than 20-plus years, the minds of the fortunate have been exposed to paths to success and the means for procuring the financial backing, if needed.

This is just a sampling of benefits the successful have had even as too many of them attribute their successes solely to themselves and not to resource access, good fortune and the fickleness of chance.

Many of our state legislators, blessed with the fruits of their good fortune, want to withdraw even more from the inadequate safety net of those who never benefited from those fortunate quirks of fate, awareness-molding experiences and clear opportunities. As you move to balance a budget, choosing where to cut, please bear in mind, you’ve not had to live with the scanter reality assigned the less fortunate. Rather than dismiss them to their fate, try to recognize how astoundingly lucky you are. But by the grace of God, right?

Bob McCarthy