Dear Congress of the United States of America and Parliaments of the western industrialized world:
This week we the residents of the United States and Canada are experiencing the sort of dangerous cold weather that kills in a matter of minutes. This is the sort of weather where if you have no safe home to go to you really run the risk of going to sleep and never waking up again. This storm will kill thousands of people whose names are lost because we think they do not matter anymore. But each of us may easily find ourselves wandering the streets, alone, exposed to this bitter cold, never knowing when we go to sleep if we will ever wake up again.
Count your blessings for your home — then do anything and everything you can to help those without food, shelter, and warmth.
Yes, I know this is difficult for you. You cannot relate to the rest of us. You have more money than any single person can ever spend. You do not look like most of us nor do you have the same life experiences as most of us. So I can see why you have a hard time understanding how much we are suffering. You have probably not shivered in your home because it cost too much to properly heat your home or insulate it from the cold. You have probably never had to find ways to make three days worth of food last for a week. You have probably also never had to eat food not suitable for eating because it was the only food available to you.
Instead of bickering among yourselves in your comfort and ease, please please walk a mile in our shoes.
Eighty years ago everyone suffered together in the Great Depression and our countries were all stronger for it. Stronger because instead of looking down at those of us without proper shelter, clothing, and food, those elected to your same offices you hold together experienced these things with us and therefore became resolved to create jobs, to build roads and bridges and repair those things that needed to be fixed. They put in place measured designed to give everyone somewhere safe and warm to live and spend the winter. And they were determined that no one in countries as great as ours would go hungry — especially our children.
I ask you to please care about us again!
No one is “surplus population.”
Please stop treating us as if we are!
Laurel A. Rockefeller