Couple shouldn’t get a handout | Letter to the Editor
July 26, 2011 · 11:44 AM
I read with interest the column lauding the couple who “walks their talk by living simply” (The Beachcomber, July 13). I think there is much to be said for living simply. I also think there is even more to be said for self-reliance. That often means such mundane things as going to school to learn viable skills, working in sometimes less-than-ideal circumstances, saving for rainy days and old age and getting insurance so that health care will be available.
“Managing to find shelter and eke out a living, while holding true to their values” sounds admirable. Relying on free wood, split and stacked by others, accessing bargain health care which presupposes others pay more and “shopping” at the food bank are not values I hold dear.
People who choose to pursue unconventional lifestyles, be they nomads, artists or sustainable gardeners, should be free to do so. They should also bear the consequences of their choices. Those who pursued traditional paths and put away for rainy days and misfortune should not subsidize those lifestyles. Free wood, food banks and charitable medical care should be for those who are unable to provide for themselves or for those who, despite hard work, have fallen on bad times.
— Joan Ouderkirk