Poverty hurts. It can be as debilitating as an illness and as crippling as a death. Everyday struggles just to pay the bills and feed the kids can seem insurmountable at times.
The emotional trauma of poverty is at a crisis point in many families as the economy continues to decline. This unfortunately results in feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in too many of us.
To begin the journey of lifting yourself out of poverty, you first need to take a look inward. The social stigma of poverty has to be overcome before the healing process can begin. For example, as a single parent you may be forced to seek public gratuities and government aid in one form or another. This humbling, often embarrassing process can be another challenge to overcome but remains a necessary step.
We first need to eliminate the social stigma that poverty is associated with. The single parent who toils daily at a low-paying job should be lauded for have the fortitude to continue to plug away. Too often, the public opinion looks at the single parent with critical barbs aimed at the social status instead of the person’s incredible strength and fortitude.
This arrogant and smug attitude of people with better financial status is just another arrow directed at the less fortunate. How easy it is to criticize those less fortunate than ourselves without ever considering walking a mile in their shoes. It would be an interesting social experiment if every affluent person could trade places for a year with a less fortunate person.
We all deeply need and deserve to feel safe and to have a sense of self-worth. Yet, if you find yourself in dire financial straits you may be forced to make concessions that you would prefer not to. You may need to seek assistance from food banks and the like. Generally, people in poverty have already cut as many corners as possible just to survive. They don’t own cell phones, RV’s and other status symbols simply because they can’t afford them in the first place.
In article after article, all advice seems the same, including such things as divesting yourself of the “extras”, shopping at discount stores, cutting coupons and so on. Newsflash people living in poverty are already more than aware of this advice and need different solutions. We need guidance and direction to financial aid that we may not be aware of. We need government programs that can help us without stripping us of what little self-esteem we may still have left.
Someone facing real financial issues has already been down trodden enough; they truly do not need or deserve to be beaten up any further. If you are able, reach a bit deeper into your pockets when you make the occasional donation to a food banks or a chartable organization like the Salvation Army. Look first to your own community to see where you may be of most assistance to someone else. Sometimes free advice and guidance can help that single mom down the street get back on her feet. Just donating your kids gently used clothing can ease an additional burden from someone else.
Charity truly does begin at home and if we as a society would recognize this, we would all be better for it. If your are the one in trouble, swallow your pride and reach out for help. Working together is the only way to truly ease the ever growing problem of poverty.