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RELY ON SELF - NOT ON HANDOUTS

To the editor:

I am a 25-year-old, full-time, single student. I am attending school on my own merit, and not on disability, even though I am eligible. This is my freshman year. Until now I have worked full time. I tell you this in hopes that you will understand my feelings.After the President's State of the Union address Jan. 28, CBS aired a program for viewer opinion. The start of the program featured a letter from a woman in California.

She stated that this was a very hard year for her family. This was due to financial hardship, and that they were living "way below poverty level." This was the year that her children didn't get to go a lot of places. One of which was McDonald's. This was the year that her toddler cried in hunger because he didn't want the only food she could offer, oatmeal.

As she spoke, I felt for her plight as there are many families in the same situation. Yet, I am sorry to say that my sympathy was short-lived as I saw her typing on her home computer, her children playing with new toys and wearing nice clothes.

I don't see how she can say she lived below poverty level. I have lived below poverty level. As a child, I can remember wondering where my next meal was coming from. Not knowing if there would be a home (rented) to come home to after school. Eating what my mother would fix and being grateful. Having handmade toys, made from my mother's clothing because there wasn't any money for new ones. Never at any time did we ever own a home computer (and still don't), a new car or our own home.

But you don't find me complaining. What I am saying is all these things gave me a drive to do better. A "hunger" if you will. Maybe that is what this country has lost, its hunger to do better. Instead, it has become a breeding ground for crybabies, expecting the government and those around them to provide.

Roni Satterlee

Salt Lake City