‘I’m not looking for handouts like Medicare and food stamps.’
As one of the US taxpayers who fund such programs: take the help. Why do I want you to do that? Well, one, I’m happy to pay for a society where we don’t toss people into the garbage pile just because they run up on a little bad luck. Because who knows? I could be in your situation in the future. Nearly was, in the past.
But more importantly those programs exist so that a little bad luck doesn’t destroy your life, and result in it being a lot more expensive to help you in the future. A little dentistry right now is going to be cheaper than complete dental reconstruction in the future, so if you can get Medicare to pay for it now rather than later, you’re going to save us all money by doing so. Same with the food stamps – it’s cheaper to feed you now than in the future when you’re starving and sick.
Take the help. There’s no shame in it. We who have provided for these programs want you to take advantage of them because we know you’re not without worth and not without your own capabilities. It’s because of that worth and those capabilities and what we know you can achieve in the future that we want you to have help, now.