Thank You for Nouveau Poverty, Goats, and Roses
Poverty is the condition of lacking basic human needs such as nutrition, clean water, health care, clothing, and shelter because of the inability to afford them. This is also referred to as absolute poverty or destitution.
Relative poverty is the condition of having fewer resources or less income than others within a society or country, or compared to worldwide averages.
Presently, I live below the poverty line.
In fact, I am clinging to the poverty line by my well groomed fingernails while my body dangles in the winds of change.
I have lived in many circumstances in my life, from absolute poverty as a child— to experiencing relative poverty as an adult while I struggled to educate myself and acquire economic stabily—to feeling almost guilty for associating with the Nouveau Riche and my decadence in having far more than any individual can need.
I have often said You are as rich as you feel, it has nothing to do with money.
I was not hungry when I said that.
I was not homeless when I said that.
I did not have children when I said that.
I probably had a job when I said that.
And probably, I had a credit card in my hand when I said that.
I’m sorry I said that.
It suddenly seems like a trite platitude.
It suddenly seems like a completely oblivious statement as I look beneath the veneer of life in America these days.
Poverty is not always related to attitude, effort, intellectual capacity, or an outlook on circumstances beyond one’s control.
Sometimes Poverty is what happens to people who believed they were doing the right thing by adhering to a strong work ethic or believed they could participate in an insidiously rigged economy and be rewarded for their efforts.
Sometimes Poverty takes people by surprise.
We have been conditioned to think poverty looks like laziness, lack of education, mismanagement of one’s life, or something born on some other continent than our own—something we must exude compassion toward and toss spare change at.
Some of us have never felt the prickly thorns of poverty.
We have been very preoccupied, striving for the roses, and fortunate enough to pluck many of them, while avoiding those thorns.
Capitalism is loaded with dangling roses that encourage laborers to strive to be owners. It keeps the machine running.
But with the abuse of that same economic system, the roses start dying and it becomes one big thorny mess.
I do like a system that allows gardeners to own the roses they cultivate.
But American Bankers don’t appear to be very good gardeners and some of the prickly weeds have taken over.
Anybody got a weed eater that can cut a straight line?
Or are we gonna wait for the old goats to clear away the thorns, while they eat up all the roses?
Published October 2009
~ by leakelley on May 26, 2012.