Poverty is a touchy subject to speak on, but the fact is that poverty is a reality for millions of people in the United States and across the world in general. Let’s look at some causes and effects of poverty.
“Poverty” Is It a Place or Mentality?
I speak on the subject of poverty because I have always lived in poverty. I’m in my late 30s and still nothing has changed.
I work every day 7 days a week ( in a field that’s underpaid). I pay my bills every month, I vote, I’m a productive member in our society.
Yet still none of these qualifications as an overall good human being gives or allows me to change my circumstances.
Most people in poverty are desperate for work and are willing to do almost anything to alleviate the pains and hurt poverty brings, but the opportunities are far and few when people are in an impoverished environment.
Poverty is more than being from a place that is dirty, unkept, and desolate. Poverty has a mentality attached to it.
That mentality deals with people’s thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and brokenness.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to come from privilege, but that shouldn’t stop us from going after our dreams and changing the outcome of our circumstances.
Being in poverty may not have been your fault, however staying there is. Getting out of poverty starts with changing your mindset first ( unless your a lucky person and you hit the lottery). A person has to change the way he/she views situations and circumstances.
Feeling trapped with nowhere to go is a horrible feeling. Just ask those who have been in that sort of predicament before.
A person’s whole mind frame goes into overdrive on how to survive. At that particular time nothing else matters except to get to safety.
Getting free from the threat consumes you. Finding a way out of poverty is similar to that feeling of being trapped.
In order for a person to get from such circumstances a person has to do just that, their entire mindset has to consume them with the thoughts and actions on how to get out of poverty.
It has to consume every part of your mind with the #1 goal on escaping. We have to use all available resources and anything else that may aid us in getting out of the trap.
I conducted my research and came out with a few definitions for poverty:
- Poverty is the state of being extremely poor
- Poverty is the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount
- Poverty is hunger.
- Poverty is the lack of shelter
- Poverty is powerlessness or the lack of representation and freedom
I know what the word privilege meant but it was hard to explain, but when I looked up the definition I found out that it came to mean:
- Privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group
- Privilege is the right granted to some, but not to all
- I tried working multiple jobs “Still Stuck”
- I tried going back to school (got my degree and graduated with honors) “Still Stuck”
- I tried saving my money “Still Stuck”
- I tried starting my own company ( never got off the ground) “Still Stuck”
- I tried moving out of my impoverish neighborhood to another city ( my plan didn’t fall through) “Still Stuck”
- I tried asking family members for help ( calls went unanswered) “Still Stuck”
I sacrificed to raise my kids and now I feel that my kids can be stuck in this cycle and that’s where I decided that my mind frame needed to change.
I realized that my kids needed better in order for them to succeed and escape the trap. So I changed my playbook and now it’s not about surviving, it’s all about progressing.
Changing our minds is the key to overcoming almost anything. I believe it starts with a change in our thoughts which will lead to us changing our actions which in turn can lead to changing our environment.
So the attitude we carry makes a big difference. Somehow what we tell ourselves about ourselves has a way to manifest itself into becoming our reality.
It’s not always this way but a pessimistic mind leads to negative behaviors and outlooks on things. So the same can be said that optimistic thinking can lead to positive outlooks and perspectives.
Change is Hard
To be honest most people are afraid of change so they allow themselves to stay in situations that they know are not healthy for them.
The uncertainty of change leaves them not wanting to change which perpetuates the cycle of familiarity and this comfort allows them to stay stagnant.
This stagnant behavior leaves them frozen or even paralyzed from moving on from their predicament.
Most people are afraid of change because of the unknown. They begin to get the “What If” syndrome.
These people are always looking to the future from a pessimistic point of view and asking”What If”.
People who are afraid of change are stuck in their ways and really don’t see anything wrong with their circumstances/environment.
A Tough Pill to Swallow
Poverty is tough enough by itself, and ignorance can hold its own weight alone.
So when you put these two negative scenarios into the equation it becomes a bad combination and a tough pill to swallow.
This lethal combination usually makes for a bad outcome and disastrous situations.
So no matter if people look at poverty from a mental aspect or they view it from and environmental perspective both of those variables brings about negative situations out of people.
In conclusion, if a person wants to get themselves out of poverty you first have to want to change and be willing to accept change.
You have to want more out of life as well as more out of yourself. You have to seek out opportunities that will have positive effects on you.
You have to stick by your guns and go after what matters to you the most.