I read a really good post from the perspective of a man named Eric, who spent nearly ten years trying to work his way out of poverty. It's his take on some of the main issues that contribute to being poor (in the U.S.) and how the situation might compare for people who are not poor. There are moments when I can just imagine some people who "have" saying "this is stupid, why didn't you just...*insert easy fix here*" but I really appreciate that he put all if it out there and then some, taking time to respond to those and other questions and comments in the commentary section which is usually riddled with not nice people. On this occasion, however, it seemed like a lot of people could relate not only to Eric's life but to his compassion. People commented, openly admitting their non-impoverished lives, and yet still were able to recognize and support Eric's theories and shoot down some people who just don't seem to get it even when they outwardly state some of the major flaws in their "comparable" situations.
Poverty is a compound issue because any issue that may be small for the "average" person is that much more expensive in dollars, in time, and in energy, based on the fact that it is generally not the only issue they have. I urge you to take a look at this, even if you already think you "get it" and even MORE so if you "get that people are lazy and are good at making excuses. (*note sarcasm)" A lot of poor people are too busy to make excuses. So do yourself a favor; Read the article, gain some new perspective, recognize what it's like to see or face all of these obstacles at once.
I was able to look at this list and relate to so many points, and I'm a college-educated middle class adult. I can only imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have people who supported me financially when I needed it in the past, or who didn't offer me shelter when I didn't have any money for rent, or who didn't encourage me and even take their own time to help me search for job opportunities when I was having a hard time encouraging myself and finding time to be able to work AND search for a better option. I can't remember what it was like to take care of my apartment alone, to make every meal on my own, and I can't remember a time when I didn't feel that I had a safety net in case something were to go wrong. I am so lucky...a lot of us are and I'm not sure that we all take the time or even think to realize it.
So this is a "thank you." Thank you to everyone who has ever helped me. Thank you to everyone who has ever taught me or showed me what it is to help others. Thank you to my husband for not making me do it all alone anymore. Thank you to Eric for writing about poverty from first-hand experience from "the other side" now that you've "made it out." Thank you to the people in the comment section for understanding, for recognizing that a split second can change an entire reality for people or that poverty can be your challenge from birth with generations of it built up.
There's a way out. There are people that can help.
There are people that understand. You can do it.
To see Eric's article click here.