Why stick with poverty?

Nigeria
February 18, 2008 4:20pm CST
I have met several kinds of people in my sorjourn on earth but those i really do not understand are those that are poor and would want to remain poor. Why would someone think that they were born to be poor? May be you were born into a family where everybody seems to be barely making it. Every year, there seems to be little or no progress. Is this therefore enough for one to be tempted to assume that their lot in life is to remain poor? Are you among them, and do you think that some people were blessed with riches while others were made to be eternally poor?
6 people like this
14 responses
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
18 Feb 08
The majority of people these days want to live in comfort and luxury - they then strive to become richer than what they are. Some of us are happy where we are - but wish we could make a little more. Others are poor, but are happy poor. Kudos to them! There is a story about a king who became deathly ill and his physicians told him the only cure was to find the shirt of a truly happy man. So the king sent out his advisors to search for this truly happy man. They searched far and wide all over the world but could not find the perfectly happy man. Those who had money were not happy with their lives, those who were poor wished for more money. Then one day they happened to be passing a little shack on a small farm and they overheard a man inside exclaiming his thanks to the Lord. He thanked the Lord for all he had and proclaimed that he was truly a happy man. The advisors were overjoyed when they heard this and rushed in to get the happy man's shirt. Only, the man was so poor he did not own a shirt. (and just to give you an idea of what kind of things I tend to remember - I read this story when I was 7 years old and attending a gifted summer school) (grin) -Tink
2 people like this
• United States
18 Feb 08
That is a very nice story. :)
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
I must commemd your retentive memory for a start. The word "strive" brings nearer home the heart of what we are talking about. Wishing to make your life better than it is. But above all, the kennel of your story is "happiness" is imperative in our lives.
• United States
18 Feb 08
Wow! What a question to ask.. :O I have to answer this to the best of my ability. I have a family member who you just described. I feel so bad that I have to admit that. It seems to me that she never wanted to work for anything. She just want what she can get for free. Others work and hard at that to have what they do. She always has her hand out crying about this and that. But made a career of being on welfare. I have no idea what would makes a person want to be poor. I don't think she wants to be either. But she does not want to get a job even if you offered her money to baby sit she would say no. She would still want the money though.
2 people like this
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
Well Gift, hers is truely a pathetic case. I dont't think she needs to be told what the future holds her her. We might not know the workings of her heart but then, people like her will continue to make my question relevant. Thanks.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
18 Feb 08
I had a boyfriend once that grew up in a poor family. His father had left and mom was left to raise 6 kids on her own. They lived on public assistance. He seemed to have the mindset that the world owed him something. He didn't even try to work for a living. He was just content to be. Yet on the other hand I have known people that were born into poor families and they have worked really hard to better their lot in life and have succeeded. I think everyone is different and some have the will to succeed.
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
When someone refuses to help pull themslves out of the pit of poverty because they think the world owes them, Whywiki, you don't have to be a genius to know the end of their story. But when one has the will to succeed, even if he does not end up wealthy, he will be happy that he did his best. Your friend unfortunately, belongs to the former. The world owes him nothing.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
18 Feb 08
There are some people who will never get out of poverty through no fault of their own. They do not have the tools with which to climb out of deep poverty. They do not have the ability to get the education to get ahead in life. This is always sad. Then there are the people that you describe. The ones who have the ability to climb a little higher but do not try. Maybe they get into debt and do not know how to get out of debt and just continue to slide down. Then there are the ones who were middle class and illness strikes and it takes all their savings to battle the illness. Eventually they even loose their job. No job, no insurance, no savings,disability,total poverty. This is the person you should feel bad for. They were literally hit by a train wreck. They will never be able to recoup and get back to where they were. And it is not their fault. Shalom
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
These type of people are not the ones we are talking about Adonai. The ones you are talking about are superior to those that have CHOSEN to stick with poverty. Besides, i don't think anybody is born NEVER to get out of poverty. Those that fell were once rich; they worked for it and they CAN still recoup. Thank you for you response.
@schilds (410)
• United States
19 Feb 08
In the US atleast, only the truely disabled don't have the tools to climb out of poverty. Even if someone loses the ability to do their current job, there a resources available, funded by our government to retrain them to do something different. Just because someone is born into poverty doesn't mean they don't have the tools to get out of poverty. We have a good public school system (not great, but if you wish to learn you can get a good education), and tons of federal and state programs to assist with higher learning. There a scholarships, grants, student loans (all of which are easier for low income families to receive). And even then - without education - if one truely wants to make a success of themself they can. My husband a high school drop out - works hard, and has made a good reputation for himself. He makes more money working in 2 overtime days a month than I did as a college graduate - that is why I get to stay home with our kids.
@gandatwo (602)
• Australia
19 Feb 08
I have known wealthy men and women who have had a great deal of monitary wealth and have in the most important areas of their life have been very miserable..happiness,health etc.Some of my husband and my happiest times were when we were on the bones of our behinds.Guess one has to be capable of defining happiness? Cheers
@gandatwo (602)
• Australia
19 Feb 08
Foot Note:Defining wealth
• United States
19 Feb 08
I am one of those people who seem to remain in the same position with each passing year. I'm young, only 24 and with 2 children. Of course I did not plan or intend to raise them alone, nor did I ever imagine they would have special needs. I can plan my way out of this rut, but can never find the resources to carry out my plan. Their needs limit the time they can spend in typical daycares or after school settings, I really do not have any friends, and my few family members are against helping us physically. My father supports us, and I do have public assistance, but it always seems I'm at a stand still. I've worked and had many full time jobs. My longest job was almost 2 years. I was fired because I'm not reliable. Well, *I* am reliable, but there's no telling who's waking up with a fever, or if my son is going to last in another new daycare. The final straw at my last job was on a snow day and I had to pick up both kids early, and had no one else to do it. Any job I have the experience to get is also something where I'm needed there, and not where I can take any work home (cashier, driver). There is a catch 22 with going to school; For me to get help paying for daycare, I have to attend school and work at least 35 hours per week. I know that might not seem like much, but my daughter is in school for 30 hours, and obviously there are school vacations. My son is in school for 12.5 hours. I have to find a daycare to cover the rest of my working time and time while I'm at school. They have to accept social services, and be able to handle special needs and food allergies. There is no one to watch them on weekends, evenings, or holidays, trust me I've tried. I've had one sitter work for me more than once but she's not relaible. There's also occupational therapy for both kids, speech therapy for both, and my son has physical therapy. That's 5 trips per week to the hospital for therapy and of course none of the therapists' schedules match up to reduce the amount of visits. No neither of them get these therapies at school. My daughter also attends social skills groups, and takes violin lessons (christmas present). I have skills to get a job. Nothing "official." I can read and write well, and am very anal about grammar, but am not able to get any type of editing job because I don't have a degree. I was going to school for pediatric occupational therapy and to have a second certification in early childhood special education, with a goal to specialize in sensory integration dysfunction and autism. My son was kicked out of daycare (again) and while looking for a new daycare I lost my job and daycare assistance. I did maintain a 4.0 while in school. Yes I understand that I decided to have my children, but like I said my plan wasn't going it alone. I do not think my lot in life is to be poor, but I have always had a hard time finding a way out. (I cannot babysit other children- We live in my father's small basement and he will not allow it. Every time I am working, he raises my rent, never giving me the chance to save. He owns his own business and is not hurting financially at all.)
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
Autismmom, i really empathise with you but i can't say that i entirely know how you feel. What you are going through is both physically and psychologically demanding but deep down in you lives a fighter that will not smile at loss.
@rsa101 (13336)
• Philippines
19 Feb 08
I guess most of them who choose to be poor are those that were not educated or if they are educated then they are just plainly lazy of doing things out of hardship. But I do see persons to who purposely chose to be happy being what they are and never aspire being rich too. I see the persons like Mother Theresa who chose to be contented in helping the poor instead of enriching herself she chose to be with the poor instead.
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
I understand you Rsa101. You have to also understand that Mother Theresa chose to be poor, not because she was lazy but because she saw in it, a fulfillling way of helping humanity. You will agree with me that Mother Theresa was truely a hard working woman who never felt for one day that the world owed her anything. She rather wanted to give to the world. And you can only give what you are rich in. We should look at those that do not want to lift a finger towards making their tommorrow a better one.
@yannycui (377)
• China
19 Feb 08
Everyone is born to equal.But due to the nature resource and society situations, some are living in poor. You are right, several of them refuse to work and want to get every thing for free. But most of them are working hard to change their fate. I was born in a little village. My parents and relative are all not rich people,but we never give up. My cousins and I studied and worked very very hard because our parents told us that we could have good lives only through the hands of hourselves. We turned down the help from the government and tried to save every penny. Now two of my cousins and I are working in government agencies, one of my cousion is a very successful bussinessman. We were poor,but are living comfortable now. I only want to tell the people who are living in poor that you should change your life through your hard work. Don't rely on others.
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
It is true that all are not born equal but no law says that those born poor cannot turn around their fortune. The success you and your family achieved was by dint of hard work. You refused to capitulate to poverty and CHOSE to alleviate yourselves. You should be proud of yourselves. I guess you sometimes look back and imagine what it could have been like if your situation were to be otherwise. Thanks.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
19 Feb 08
I do think that some people are more blessed than others. I don't believe that anyone wishes to remain poor. It is a hard spot to crawl out of. I am considered poor because of my income. I have always struggled but I have always struggled to do better. and I have succeeded. I guess my success would depend on whose scale is doing the measuring. on my scale...I am doing great. I left an abusive marriage and raised 4 very beautiful girls on my own. there was a time where we used the pantry for a refrigerater, did not have a phone, hot water...and cable was really a ridiculous extravagance. I had ethics and alot of integrity. I heated water to bathe my kids. I somehow managed to keep them fed, clean, warm and not naked. I have worked hard and learned some budgeting strategies on the way. All are grown and doing well now with just the 14 year old to go. I don't get child support and never did get much help from the dad's . Moneywise....I qualify as poor. Am i? In many ways, I am richer than those with much more money. If you could meet my family...you'd know why. Its not all about money.
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
Sid, your story is an inspiration. For you to know that poverty is a hard spot to crawl out of tells me two things; you have been there and you crawled out. Considering your own circumstance, what you did for yourself and your kids is no small feat. You stared poverty in the face and walked out on him for better things. If all the above do not give you happiness, i don't know what else will. You are streets ahead of those that refuse to sever their unholy and unprofitable romance with poverty.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
19 Feb 08
I understand what you are saying, but I know people who are very poor in material possessions, but very rich in Spiritual Wealth. You really can't judge wealth by material positions. Money in the Bank can mean absolutely nothing to a Man who is Spiritually Wealthy. This man is blessed by being poor (in material wealth) while he is doubly blessed by being Rich in Spiritual Wealth!
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
I agree with you. Some people are materially poor yet spiritually wealthy. But bear it in mind that nobody who is spiritually wealthy attained it by being pysically inactive or progressively motivated. A spiritually enhanced person might not care about money in the bank but will, at the same time be hard working. And might through his spiritual superiority, profer ways of improving the acquisition and management of material wealth.
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
18 Feb 08
I suppose it depends on where you live and the conditions of your birth and life, if you parents were very poor and not able to educate you then you future is likely a poverty stricken one as well, I do not believe there is one parent on earth that doesn't want better for their children,but some times it is just beyond their control. In north America there is no reason for a child to be living in poverty because every child is given a free education,I know it costs money to send children to school but they do not need to go as fashion plates but clean and tidy and prepared for the day at school and hopefully that is on every parents agenda
• Nigeria
19 Feb 08
Robin, you have a point here but let me assure you that there are many important people today who never attended school in their early years. They got their degrees by working and going to school later in their lives. your response is apt as you recognised the fact they may LIKELY be poor and not that they are doomed to be poor.
@asgtswife04 (2482)
• United States
19 Feb 08
I'm not among the poor, but unfortunately when my husband isn't overseas we usually live pay check to pay check. That was a choice we made though when i had our daughter. We felt it was important for me to stay at home with her while she was young, but we were happy. I don't think you need to have all the money in the world, but it is nice to be able to live comfortably. Our decision was based on our daughter and her being able to be with me and not being raised by someone else. I don't believe that some are born to be poor though. You just have to work really hard at what you want to achieve and at what level you would like to make money. You don't have to be poor. There are those that if they would just put a little effort in they would be able to accomplish so much more than they are, but it takes motivation and it does take time. You might have to live in poverty for a year or two to get where you wanna be, but i think working your hardest and trying to make yourself better not only for you but for you family is a goal that should always be there. When you get a little better, you set yourself a new goal to get just a little bit better. It's all in how you look at it. If you see yourself as always being poor and just give up, then yes, your always gonna be poor...but, if you set yourself higher than that you can get out of that slump. thanks for posting and God bless
• United States
19 Feb 08
I think that some poor people are just lazy, some have bad breaks, some just dont try hard enough, I believe everyone can upgrade themselves into a better person, you dont have to be rich to be rich (if you know what i mean) but most poor people just dont try. Yes I do think some beleive thats where they need to be and they cant get better, for example people on walefare at home sitting making money while we are working paying for them. They can get up off ther behind and make a better person of themselves if not then I am above them b/c i pay them, and they do nothing. if we pay them to live than they should work for us. this is just how i think. I'm not poor, I'm not rich (but will be one day) lol,
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
19 Feb 08
It depends upon what the cost of being rich is. There's usually a price, heh. My soul? My friends? My life? I don't mind being poor. Poverty is a predictable crisis, I can deal with predictable...predictable means I can plan. Predictable means I can live the way I want to, despite things. Not that I would pass up money if it was offered, without cost or question, but...living a volentary life of poverty never seemed like that much of a horrible thing. Myself, I reach low, in hopes a star will fall down to me -- because I always believed the saying; "Those who reach for the stars are doomed to fall to their knees." I don't think anyone's "destined" to be rich or poor...I think it's society and how the government manages the economy which determines whether you are or aren't most of the time these days. I know many a smart person, who finished high school, college, worked hard...reached for their dreams...and were left scraping by. Who still are, even. It just...really all depends on who you are, and the circumstances.