Sometimes I'm employed, sometimes not. Sometimes I have health insurance, other times I go without. Lately, I'm handicapped or disabled or recovering or whatever you choose to label me. My very wise daughter was lecturing me the other day after I fell, re-injuring my post-knee-replacement-surgery leg. I hate being limited, and cannot abide being the object of anyone's pity. She assured me that bearing a physical limitation did not make me weak, and as much as she wanted to make sure I had any support I needed, she assured me I'm the strongest person she knows. (Thanks, Katie -- that really helped.)
So if I hate pity and weakness so much, why am I willing to assign those traits to other people who are struggling these days? Some of the people in line for lunch have better educations than I have. Some have made major contributions to society. But fortunes turn. That's why we need one another, why we're social creatures. We hold one another up. Let's do it without labels, without sacrificing dignity. Let's not just pity and give to folks in need -- let's genuinely care about each one, engage in conversation, ask questions, be impressed by every human we meet. Each of us has a story, and it's way more interesting than any plain old label.