Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Poverty Part 2: A Multi-Dimensional Issue

2 years ago I made a list of all the causes I was closest to and had the best line of site on. I called it my “Majors” and my “Minors” –like you would major or minor in something in college. I was good and several causes in particular including Women, Children, and Nature. Unfortunately one stark area of contrast that I had little knowledge or experience in understanding was Poverty.

I couldn’t even label it something that I minored in. I’ve been close to poverty in that I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck with -$200 in my bank account, but I’ve never really FELT poverty. I’ve never fully experienced, even though I’ve been involved in a lot of non-profits that were related to poverty –I never really saw it in person.

It is the destiny of a soul to grow. We grow as souls by expanding our compassion and grace beyond ourselves that we would come to love and all and hate none as God does.
I saw it as a personal issue with my soul that it did not understand poverty on a more empathetic level. I felt disjointed with an issue I knew little of.

I think that’s one of the reasons God has led me to this non-profit I’m working for which confronts poverty head-on. I’ve seen it a lot more clearly and I think I’m meant to share what I have come to learn.

One of the main issues with poverty that most people aren’t aware of is that it’s multi-dimensional. There are overlapping, inter-related issues perpetuating this system of physical and financial oppression.

There are multiple issues Contributing to poverty and multiple issues that Comprise poverty.

Here are a few of the issues I’ve come across Contributing to Poverty:

-A discriminating education system that favors wealthy communities and white children  
-Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse –especially with kids
-The f*cked up situation that is the Foster “Care” System
-Mental and psychological health and disorders
-Human trafficking and its victims
-Racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination people like to pretend don’t exist
-Pregnant teens and young mothers
-Drug addiction (usually as a result of some form of abuse)
-No one looking out for the elderly (Alzheimer’s, veterans, low-income…)
-No one looking after the mentally and/or physically challenged
-Domestic Violence
-Government abuses (especially in some targeted communities)
-LGTQ+ youth being disowned by their “Christian”/Religious parents
-Student loans
-Capitalism without Compassion

Here are a few of the issues that Comprise poverty:

- Hunger, Starvation, Access to Food
-Clothing (which is different based on winter v. summer and men v. women)
-Personal Care Items (shampoo, soap, tampons, toothbrush…)
-Shelter (not just a place to sleep at night, but a place –especially for the LGBTQ+ community, women, and children –that’s safe during the day)
-Support in seeking education and employment 
-Human trafficking and its victims
-A rise in crime which always goes hand in hand with poverty
-Need for access to health (especially mental health) facilities and treatment
-Access to transportation

Basically poverty is the direct result of what happens when certain groups of people and kinds of pain inflicted on people go unnoticed and uncared for. This is why it’s important for the human race to stop making excuses to sever from others and to finally come together as we were intended to so this kind of suffering ceases to exist.
It reminds me of this other issue that’s going on that another woman brought up the other day. She said, “My sister has worked in an integrated school system and is now working in a segregated school system. I didn’t even know it was still LEGAL to racially segregate schools.”

She said that her sister loved the integrated school because –even though they weren’t as financially well off and their neighborhood had issues –children saw children from every walk of life. There were kids whose parents were in jail. There were kids who were living with grandparents. There were kids who were from low-income homes. There were kids that had physical and mental challenges. And a variety of kids from every race.

She said, “In this new school she had a student come up to her and say, ‘I saw a black person across the street today and I was scared he was going rob me.’” A 10 year old girl said that.

This lack of INCLUSION leads to an emaciated culture. We only feed off of chips, soda, and cupcakes. We seem to evade -on principle -anything genuinely good or of true value.  

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